Care Guide For English Yew (Taxus Baccata)
We recommend the use of Empathy Rootgrow in preparation for planting trees and shrubs. It is a mycorrhizal fungi powder which is sprinkled into the planting hole to encourage strong growth and resistance to drought.
Watering: Yew plants require careful watering, especially in the dry summer months. If the Yew is in a planter then regular, small amounts of water help keep the plant healthy.
In the ground, Yew requires regular additional water in the first season until the roots have taken. One of the most important things to remember is that Yew does not like to have its roots in standing water, so free drainage is very important. This is achieved by good ground preparation, ensuring any waterlogged ground, or ground prone to flooding, has drainage installed before planting.
Clipping: The timing for clipping Yew is not as crucial as it is for many other plants and it often left until the autumn and winter in situations where there are a lot of other plants to shape. This does not mean you can’t clip it in the spring and summer, quite often if it is clipped in the spring you will need to give it another quick trim in the autumn to remove the second flush of growth. We recommend shears for trimming yew topiary.
Feeding: As with Box, Yew appreciates feeding on a regular basis. This is only necessary for the first year of Yew planted in the ground, but always necessary for Yew in planters.
We recommend feeding every three weeks in the growing season with Empathy Evergreen feed which is available from our nursery and a long term maintenance feed of ‘Osmacote’ or similar over the winter months.
Problems: Yew is particularly susceptible to vine weevil, tortrix moth, gall mites and scale insects and needs treating as soon as seen to prevent serious damage. Yew is also susceptible to Phytophthora which is a root based fungal disease. We recommend any chemical treatment you are able to buy from your local Garden Centre.
For more information about common pest and diseases of Yew please refer to the RHS.