Common Yew hedges are a familiar sight around UK churchyards although common in England, English Yew has grown across Europe and as far afield as Asia in the Himalayas. The hedge flowers with autumnal red fruits, and is a great source of food for local birds. However, large parts of an English Yew hedge are poisonous to humans and most livestock, so it’s important that you do not eat these berries.

Their ability to regrow quickly from cut branches makes English Yew one of the few conifers to be made into hedging, making it extremely unique in British gardens. The average growth rate for English Yew hedges is approximately 20-40cm annually, so needs to be maintained regularly. This is easy to do once English yew hedging has reached its desired height.  English Yew is also well known for its hardiness and longevity. Britain’s oldest tree, estimated between 2000-5000 years old is an English Yew. The plant can reach heights of up to 5m, so it is important you take good care of your Yew hedges and keep them well-maintained.

Looking for a different yew hedging variety? View our other species including Golden Yew, Hicksii Yew hedges, Irish Golden Yew hedge plants or Irish Yew varieties.

How to Plant Common Yew

English Yew hedges fare well in temperate climates, making the UK a perfect environment for this plant to thrive. Their durability also makes them great candidates for coastal soil. However, it is important to note that planting common yew hedges requires careful preparation and site selection, and will mature quickly given the ideal conditions. English yew hedging prefers sandy or clay-based soil, so chalky soils should be avoided. Soggy, water-logged soil can significantly damage yew plants, so ensure the planting site is well-drained areas situated in either full or partial sun for maximum growth.

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 English Yew hedging a lot fewer will be required. Once planted, it is important to water generously in the first few months of life so that the yew can establish itself well. The moisture of the soil is essential for English Yew hedges, so we strongly recommend you keep an eye on this, especially at warmer times of the month. Read our best time to plant a hedge guide for more planting tips.

Why Choose Hopes Grove Nurseries?

Hopes Grove Nurseries are the UK’s hedging experts delivering over half a million planting varieties to homes and businesses across the UK. Based in Kent, the UK’s Garden of England, we lovingly grow and cultivate our plants to maximise their chances of success in your gardens. Delivered to your door and throughout all areas of the UK, it’s not hard to see why we’re 5-star rated by our customers.

Our plants are known for their extremely high quality. We recognise that finding the perfect plant is never easy. Whether you’re looking for English Yew hedges, Laurel Hedges, Lavender hedges, or you’re not sure which hedge would be most suitable for your requirements – Hopes Grove Nurseries can help. From our 80-acre nursery, our team works tirelessly in all weathers to provide the best hedges. Should you have any questions, our enthusiastic, plant-loving team are here to help. Even our sales team have growing experience, so you can rest assured that you’ll be speaking to a hedging expert if you call us.

You can buy our English Yew hedges online today, or contact us to speak to one of our experts. Alternatively, our knowledge hub offers planting tips and advice for budding growers looking for more support.