Kiss My Aster

The Taming of the Yew

Photo/Illustration: nice lava rock…
Still working on it…
Photo/Illustration: nice lava rock…
Still working on it…

Most people I talk to do not like their Yews. Especially the people I know who have bought an older home and have overgrown Yew-a-sauruses in their front yards.  Usually Yews are covering windows and views, pushing you off a walk with their prickly girth or entirely hiding the architecture of your home. But here’s the deal…


  1. Exisiting material (your Yew) is cheaper than ripping something out and putting in something new
  2. Yews are reliable, evergreen and tougher than the Fonz
  3. If you have an older home, they are period appropriate
  4. Yews are one of the few evergreens that you can prune til you blister, because new needles can grow on even the oldest bits. Just prune to open it up and let light get where you want it to grow and wait.

And that’s just what I’m doing. Some say it can’t be done, some say it just shouldn’t be done. But I can’t imagine why not! It’s already here, so I don’t have to remove this one, dream up something else for its spot, dig it in and wait for it. I just need to spend a few afternoons bloodying my hands knocking it back to where I want it. Then I’ll just drink coffee and wait. I think I’ll be happy with the results in 2 years, but that’s still less work than any other option!


View Comments


  1. andrewkeys 03/31/2012

    I love mine! But then they were inverted pyramids I chopped to the ground when we moved here five years ago and let grow back in a more natural, picturesque way. They look awesome now.

  2. RLange 04/02/2012

    Yews are great, and very forgiving. The ones I scalped a few years ago have come around to being calm members of the yard family.

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