One of our best known and best loved hedging plants, often called the King of Hedges or aristocrat of hedging plants, is the Yew or Taxus Baccata. A native conifer with dark green evergreen foliage, that starts off a lighter colour when young.
Very old trees are frequently seen in churchyards, and will produce fleshy red fruits which are popular with birds, but poisonous to both humans and stock (like every other part of the plant).
Few of our hedging plants are as versatile as Yew, use them as a tiny decorative hedge as small as 30cm to replace Box that has succumbed to blight, or as a larger decorative hedge or for screening and privacy. Yew hedges can be grown up to several metres and the plants can be trained into just about any topiary shape – limited only by the topiarists imagination!
Yew hedges have a reputation for being very slow growing, certainly old hedges and trees will live up to this but newly planted Yew hedges planted into good, well-prepared soil should add a good 30cm a year once established. Even the more modest sized Yew plants we offer should give some coverage within a few years.
Established Yew hedges and topiary specimens are best trimmed in Autumn, once a year is perfectly adequate, twice a year for a real show garden look!
This plant will grow in any soil type from the alkaline conditions of chalk, right through to very acidic soil and anything in between including clay. These robust hedging plants will tolerate full sun right through to full shade, the only ‘must have’ for a Yew hedge is good drainage which isn’t negotiable. If there is any tendency of waterlogging at the site you wish to plant a Yew hedge, then drainage must be improved. Or alternatively a different species of hedge should be chosen.
Our Yew hedging plants are available in many forms, bare rooted plants are the traditional and economical way to purchase hedging (especially if you need a lot of plants). They’re available during the dormant season from November until April which is when they should be planted.
Root ball Yew hedging plants are grown in our fields here on the nursery for a number of years. They are grown via wide spacing to make superb bushy specimens, perfect for that instant effect. They are available in a wide range of heights from October until late April when dormant. We lift them with our specialised root balling machine with the immediate soil and root system which is wrapped in hessian mesh for protection. This should be left on when planting, as it will naturally rot away.
Pot grown Yews are able to be planted at any time, as there is no root disturbance, and will establish well, growing quickly. They are usually available in a very wide range of sizes from the smallest plants in 9cm pots, through to large bushy hedging yews of up to 200cm.
Instant Yew hedging is available in a range of sizes from young troughs that give a good degree of landscape impact at modest cost, through to larger trough hedges and hedge elements, of sizes up to 200cm providing immediate privacy from the moment they are planted.
Planting density is very much a matter of personal choice but we suggest for low hedges of 30-40cm (for example if you are replacing a Box hedge), using our starter plants in 9cm pots at 5 or 6 per metre. For larger hedges and when using the larger sizes of Yew hedging a lot fewer will be required.
If you have any questions about our English Yew hedging, or any other hedging species that we stock then please do give our friendly team of hedging experts a call on 01580 765600, they will be pleased to help.