Yews are a type of evergreen shrub often found in modern landscaping; they are characterized by their bushy, dark green needles. During the spring and summer months, yew shrubs can put on a considerable amount of new growth, which can make the plants look unkempt or cause them to take up too much space. It is a good idea to trim back yew shrubs periodically by cutting down new growth.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Things you need
- Manual hedge trimmer
- Pruning shears
- Leaf bag
Use a manual hedge trimmer to cut new growth of the yew back to a uniform length. The length of new growth may vary on different parts of the same plant, so you might have to cut back growth a little more on some parts than others to make the trim uniform.
Assess the plant's size after the trimming and shorten the growth further if necessary. You can safely cut new growth back to the woody parts of the plant.
Use pruning shears to cut off and remove any dead branches in the yew. Dead parts will have brown needles or no needles at all. When you make a cut to remove a branch, cut as close as possible to the first healthy branch it is connected to.
Use a rake to gather up the cuttings of new growth and dead branches.
Place the cuttings in a leaf bag for disposal.
Tips and warnings
- Yews can be shaped to some extent by cutting new growth to different lengths; different types of yews have different levels of thickness. Thicker growing shrubs are better for shaping.
- Yews and other evergreen needle-bearing plants tend to grow well when given acid-based plant food.
- Yews can be pruned back to the woody growth to reduce their size, but this can be hard on the plant.
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