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Calling Taxus aficionados! Are these decent specimens to start a Yew hedge?

Hi all, I saw these Taxus baccata at B&Q, quite tall (to about 80cm) and £8 each. That seemed good value to me (though I failed to clock the pot size for likely rootball size).

However these tall, relatively skinny offerings may not be the best bet. Hedging can be a funny thing - sometimes better to start smaller and pinch out etc.

They’d be for topiarised yew hedges in two 45cm high, 1.8m long troughs flanking a path to divide a garden. Reckon 3 or 4 plants in each for them to stitch together given time?

Any tips and feedback gratefully received.

Cheers, Johnny


  • Paul B3Paul B3 Posts: 3,121
    At only £8.00 each they look pretty good to me !
    Just keep them damp especially as the next few days are looking dry .
    Good luck with your planting idea .
    PS ...tease the rootballs apart carefully when planting .
  • @Paul B3 Thanks v much for the tips. I wonder whether if they’re tallish and slender like that, I need to pinch them out or similar to encourage lateral growth so the plants join up, or whether they’re best left alone to do that naturally? I’d better get googling and you tubing!
  • TopbirdTopbird Posts: 8,190
    @johnnypenstemon - I’ve been doing some research about yew hedging recently. Most advice suggests that newly planted yew will grow about 30cm a year if planted properly. However, as soon as you cut back the leading shoot the growth rate slows dramatically.

    Advice is, therefore, to plant and leave to grow - maybe just giving the laterals a light trim if necessary. Only cut back the leader when the hedge is taller than the desired height.

    I didn’t know that before. It’s contrary to the advice given for most other forms of hedging.

    Hope that helps.
    Heaven is ... sitting in the garden with a G&T and a cat while watching the sun go down
  • @Topbird Thankyou, it does help. Yes, I’d read that but forgotten it amid the blizzard of internet over-research so a timely reminder.

    I wish B&Q labelled their plants precisely; I presume the Taxus pictured are English Yew, which is what I’m after, but the label left me none the wiser. They are a very bright green. Perhaps that’s their hue when young and they age to a mellow darker olive-ish green; or perhaps they’ve been fed with all sorts and face cold turkey in the real world.

    This is a rare yew hedge near me; almost everyone else has privet.

  • Well, this is interesting. The Yew advice from the RHS contradicts the B&Q offerings on virtually every count:

    Buy plants that are 45-60cm (18in-2ft) high, as these tend to establish more successfully and grow away better than larger plants. Bare-rooted or root-balled yews are preferable as they are usually cheaper than container-grown stock and seem to establish more readily.

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