Yew Grown from (nearly) Scratch

Some pictures showing the five year development of an English Yew (Taxus Baccata) in the ground.

After five years in the ground being fed strongly and pruning upper branches, I’m very happy with what I revealed when I dug it up yesterday.  This was the first time I’ve had a proper look at the roots.

jan 16 (2)

The rootball was compact due to being planted on a tile and the first thing was to find out what the nebari was like so I scraped away soil from the surface first.  Heavy and awkward roots were pruned.  The base of the trunk does flare and isn’t the prettiest but I believe that’s not so important for a conifer.


Side 1 – narrow


Side 2 – wider after a 90 degree turn. Better.


Side 3. Narrow.

jan 16 (3)

Side 4. Wider again. The chosen front.

None of the views were great but the last one chosen as the best.  Then I pruned branches accordingly to influence future development as bonsai. It was pretty congested in places and relatively easy to decide what should go.  Evidence of backbudding was good.

Jan 16 (4)

jan 16 (5)

I’m happy with the potential this has as a future formal upright bonsai tree.  I gave it quite a harsh rootpruning as there were a lot of vertical and crossing thick roots.  Better to sort out those faults now than later.  Because of this I decided to put it back in the ground to recover better for a year.  If all is well I’ll be able to lift in 2017 with minimal root disturbance and start training in a box/pot.

jan 16 (6)


Yew in the Ground

I finally got round to looking at this sickly cheap yew mentioned here recently.


Of course it was rootbound! 😉


A lot of these critters found – vine weevil larvae I assume?


One side rootbase and nebari


Best side for the front.


All dead growth removed and a lot more light gets in.


Most of the foliage removed from the bottom quarter. You can see the trunks now.  A twin trunk possibility in future?


After trimming of the thickest/longest roots, it has a new home for at least a year until vigour returns. Fingers crossed.