...we might swear off shearing yews
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We'd planted yews as "foundation plants" in clients' gardens for
years before we met the plants in all their full grown glory.
Now... oh, it's hard to cut them into little mounds and
puffballs... even seems a shame to keep them small-but-naturally shaped!
some photos of the yews at Kailzie gardens that
may help you understand our awe.
Having seen these, and many others of their stature, we
appreciated it when we heard, "I thought I'd just let them grow and
see what they would turn into. And they engulfed the house!"
Don't yew doubt them!
Two yew species came together to give us the hybrids most often
planted in North America, Taxus x media. They are English
yew (Taxus baccata) and Japanese yew (T.
cuspidata, which contributed genes for greater cold
hardiness). Both are tall, broad trees, capable of topping 50 feet.
Even the dwarf forms such as 'Wardii' 'Brownii', and 'Densiformis'
can be mighty creatures if allowed to grow: We've seen 20' Wardi,
15' Brownii and densi's at the third floor windows and still
We've learned a thing or two about how to prune the dwarfs so
they are smaller than they would be, yet retain their graceful
nature. We've also tried for years to capture the how-to with a
camera, and can't claim success. So watch for our Garden by Janet
and Steven sessions where we show how to in that way that's best,
Below: A 'Wardii' before (left) and
after pruning. Our objective is to keep it feathery and natural in
shape, but keep it from becoming as big as it might -- perhaps 15'
wide and 10' tall. If you doubt it's actually been cut,
look at the hose reel. Or at the clippings in the foreground of
the very bottom photo.