Will Yew Trees Recover After Being Trimmed Back Excessively On Sides

Question From: Indianapolis, Indiana, United States
Q: A family gardener trimmed back my yews in my absence in mid summer during a dry spell several years ago and the sides of the yews have never recovered. Only the top of the yews have foliage now. The yews may be over 40 years old, over 6 feet tall. I have tried spring fertilizer, with some improvement on the top but none on the sides. The vertical part looks like dead sticks. They are backed up to a cement wall of a basement and porch. Is there salvation or do I have to pull these out of the ground?

A: I know of no way to renew the Yews, Sorry for the loss. Nancy