How To Care For Yew Shrubs That Have Lots Of Brown After Cold Winter

Question From: W. Ferguson - Komoka, Ontario, Canada
Q: I have yew shrubs that run down each side of my property. They are about 7 ft tall and perhaps 4 feet wide. I want to care for them. But don't have the expertise. 2 yrs ago and this past year we've had very cold winters and there seems to be a lot of brown. I did not prune them last year for fear of hurting them. Is there something I can do to help them? They are very important to me.

A: Walter you have a big investment in these plants. I suggest you have a certified arborist do an onsite inspection and advise you how to precede as far as pruning and what the results will be. From a cultural standpoint I would fertilize them with a good organic fertilizer according to the package directions. In the U. S. I use a fertilizer known as Holly Tone by Espoma on Yews . Keeping the shrubs watered so the soil remains moist at all times is also a must. I would also mulch the shrubs with a 3 to 4 inch layer of good organic mulch. A soil test will tell you the pH of the soil and what specific nutrients your yews may benefit from. Good Luck, Nancy and Happy Yardening