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Replacing sick Yew with Thuja. Susceptible to root rot fungus?

I planted about 80yds of yew hedging about 12 years ago.
My ground is heavy (but not solid clay) and some sections of this hedge do get damp (not quite boggy), so I planted the bare root yew plants in slits rather than a traditional trench (which may have filled up with water).
I'm fairly sure that one end of the hedge is just too wet for Yew, and about ten plants died in the first year. The other end is higher up a very mild slope, and is much drier. Some of the yew died here too, and I think that this was because of the dryness which meant that I could not close up the slits properly by squashing the ground. I think that when it rained the bottoms of the slits filled up with water???
60% of the hedge is thriving and is now 2M+m tall and wide.
A few years ago, I replanted 25 of the dead or too poorly plants with root-balled specimens. These died quite quickly, and I have noticed that their previously healthy neighbours are getting sick progressively from the new dead replacements (the nearest ones are more poorly).
I suspect that there is now root rot fungus.
I am not going to make a third attempt with yew, but would like to keep as much of the healthy yew as possible.
I am considering replacing the dead yew plants with Thuja and let it blend with the yew. However, I need to be sure that they will not succumb to the same root rot fungus (suspected). Any ideas?
Thanks and kind regards.


  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 86,887
    Hello @michaelcpGl1Czr  and welcome to the forum 😊 

    Im afraid I have no suggestions … I once knew an old yew tree that grew with its toes in a large pond in the way that weeping willows grow by a river. 

    However my response will move your question back to the front page where others with more ideas may spot it. 🤞 

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,350
    It sounds as if the ground simply wasn't well enough prepped before planting anything. 
    Yew will certainly grow in clay soil without any problem. 
    I think it's difficult to suggest remedies without seeing the site and having more info re the soil conditions, but the ground where plants have died would need some attention before planting anything else.
    Thuja is pretty straightforward if the soil is just 'reasonable', but I don't know if rot that's already present would be a problem for it. I've never encountered that. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • Yew would prefer not to have it's feet fact, personally I would never consider planting it even in moist soil. 
    If it's a dense hedge your after, I'd consider Ligustrum (privet)
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