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How to Grow Yew Evergreen Shrubs and Trees

Taxus Yew

Yews are popular evergreen shrubs. Homeowners love the attractive foliage of this ornamental evergreen. There are many varieties of yew shrubs, and even a few tree varieties, which can grow up to 40 feet.

Yews have attractive, dark green, fine-textured needles. A few varieties have golden brown needles. The plant produces tiny white flowers in the spring, which give way to bright, red berries. Some varieties have an upright growth, while others are spreading types. This is important to know, when selecting yews to fit your landscaping plans.

A Toxic Plant

Before selecting yews for your landscaping, it is important to know, that yews are a toxic plant. All parts of the plant are toxic, including those bright red berries. The seeds are highly toxic.Yews contain the toxin "Taxine", which is toxic to humans and animals. If you have children or pets, you many want to consider another ornamental for your yard.

Did you Know: The Western Yew (Taxus Brevifolia) contains "Taxol", which is used in the treatment of cancer.

Other Names: Common Yew


Varieties of Yew Evergreen Shrubs and Trees:

There are many varieties of Yews. While most are evergreen shrubs, there are some varieties which are trees, growing up to 40 feet tall.

While most varieties have green needles, a few varieties have golden brown needles.

Plant size, depending upon variety: 2 - 40 feet tall, 2 - 20 feet wide.


How to Grow Yew Evergreen Shrubs:

Yews are an easy to grow, low maintenance shrub.

This plant prefers full sunlight to partial shade.

Yews grow best in sandy, well-draining soils. They do not like wet soils, and can get root rot.

This plant is not choosy on soil pH, growing in a wide range from 5.5 to7.5.

You can grow Yew shrubs from seed, or from cuttings. Most people buy them at a garden store or nursery.

Planting Yews - Like any other shrub or tree, dig a hole about twice the size of the rootball. Mix in some rich compost. Remove the rooted plant from the container. Set it into the hole, and carefully loosen and spread the outer roots a little. Then fill in the hole, lightly tamping down the soil. Water thoroughly, 2 -3 times a week for a couple weeks.

Established plants are very drought tolerant. Once they have established their root system, they will seldom need extra water. Water plants only during a severe drought.

Mulch around plants, to help keep weeds down, and to maintain a tidy appearance.

Fertilize once in the spring, with an evergreen shrub fertilizer.

Winter burn can occur in cold regions. Protect plants, as needed.


Pruning Yew Evergreen Shrubs:

Prune plants as needed, to maintain a shapely form. They respond well to a trim.


Pests of Juniper:

Mites and black vine weevil occasionally infest the plants. Use an insecticide, only as needed.


Diseases Affecting Yew Shrubs:

Roots will rot in wet soils.

Fungal diseases are an occasional problem.


Deer and Winter Protection

Protect yews from from browsing deer, and winter snow and ice damage, by using pest netting over the plants. They come in convenient bag, sheet and bulk sizes.

Buy Pest Netting to protect your yews


More information:

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