There is nothing more stately and quintessentially British than a yew hedge. There are several forms of Taxus but only really Baccata are mass grown for evergreen hedging. They are a little slow growing, so buy as big as you can afford, but once established they make a perfect formal hedge. The foliage is a lovely dark green, very dense and the plant can be clipped to any shape of height. There is a flush of growth in spring and a second smaller flush in late summer. The new growth is much lighter green and matures to the darker green with age. In winter, and on the female bushes, the classic red, squidgy yew berries are an important winter feed for birds. These should be pointed out to small children as the seeds could make them ill if eaten.
Yew can be kept in check with a pair of shears or a hedge cutter and is best done on a cool day in summer between the two growth flushes.
They do not like being stood in wet soil, so if you have wet ground and want to establish a yew hedge, sort the
drainage out first. Apart from that they are easy to get growing in all soils and situations.
Feeding Yew hedging
Give them plenty of organic fertilizer in early spring to get them to the height. Once they have reached your desired height a light feed of fish, blood and bone will keep them looking green. Any other general purpose plant food is fine, but always read the label and under feed rather than over feed.
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