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Irish Yew Explosion!

3 March 2013

Exploding Irish Yew!

I’ve mentioned the problems of exploding Irish Yew before (like here: http://www.niwaki.com/blog/2012/04/18/irish-yews/ ) but this is one of the more extreme cases I’ve come across. Irish yew, if you’re not in the know, is the fastigiate form of Taxus baccata. A lovely tree, that also makes cracking topiary (although slightly limited in shape by its fastigiateness). Heavy wind, snow, or just over-enthusiastic growth spurts, can pull down brances, or in severe cases explode the whole thing, like here.
The solution? In this case, prune out all the mess, then brace the rest. Shouldn’t look too bad. Generally, regular clipping helps prevent the growth from getting too leggy, but bracing of some sort seems to be the common solution - although I don’t like the way wire is used, then ignored as it cuts into branches over the following years.