Would a yew tree grow downwards?

Hi. I have a yew tree which in 10 years I managed to turn it into a hedge for our front garden. we have a brick wall and the yew tree grows above it and behind it you can see the trunk up to the top edge of the brick wall (around 70cm from the ground).

we need to replace the wall and wanted to put railings but I'm not sure if the yew will 'fill up' where is bare now around the trunk, behind where the railings will be. It's west facing so it will get lots of light through the railings.

I'd like to know this before we decide to put railings or go for a solid brick wall. The length of the wall it's 4m.

also, could I prune it back behind the wall? (At the moment it sits on top of the bricks and it's trim to the outside edge of the bricks.

thank you


  • bekkie hughesbekkie hughes Posts: 5,294
    From what i have heard, you can prune yew very hard and it will come back, but please wait for another opinion before you get the shears out! image
  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 24,043

    You can prune it hard but I don't think it will fill in at the bottom if the top is still there.

  • Pld2Pld2 Posts: 5
    If I can't keep this yew tree, what variety would I need to get to create a new yew hedge? This tree was pruned into a ball when we moved in 10 years ago and I've let it spread sideways but is taking a looong time! Would I need to plant a few to cover the 4meters width?
  • bekkie hughesbekkie hughes Posts: 5,294
    I think it could fill out, but you have to damage it, by way of a tiny cut to stop the homone in charge of growing taller getting to the top, you would have to look this up image
  • chrissieBchrissieB Posts: 772
    It may well fill in at the bottom but as said you may need to give the whole back a good trim back to encourage it to grow. It will take time to fill out four metres but will do finally
  • Pld2Pld2 Posts: 5
    Do you think I'd be better off cutting the existing yew right back and plant new yew plants along the fence? Thanks
  • chrissieBchrissieB Posts: 772

    You might well be as just noticed that you have being waiting 10 years already!

    If you were doing a hedge from scratch you would usually do 2 or 3 plants per metre, bare roots in the autumn/winter. the Ashridgetrees site or hedges direct will probably have good advice.


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