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You Can Prune Your Yew

(credit: Phran Novelli)

(credit: Phran Novelli)

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By Phran Novelli

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - What to do about a big yew? Prune it.

Yew shrubs have been favorite foundation plants around houses for a long time. Unfortunately, most aren’t native to our area, but yews can take sun or shade, can be shaped into a straight hedge or intricate topiary, are so resilient they can be hard to get rid of – and their roots hard to dig out!

Yews are also enduring because you can prune the heck out of them – unlike most evergreens – yews can regrow even from the oldest wood. Depending on how much you cut, your yew may look like bare lumber for a while – as some of mine do right now. It takes time, but eventually, light green sprouts appear that grow to fill in and turn that familiar dark green.

So if you have an overgrown yew you’d like shorter, or pruned back so you can see past it, or opened up to let light inside where there are bare brown branches , prune it now so your yew has all spring, summer and fall to grow.