Collecting yew from a hedge

Fishtank307

Shohin
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I have +- 20 yews that need to go somewhere between now and spring. They were planted 15 years ago as a hedge in our garden, but now I need to make room for my new tortoise enclosure! They're 40 cm high and some of the trunks are 15 cm across.

My plan was to 'relocate' most of them until next year, and maybe put a 2 or 3 in large training pots. Any advice on digging them up? How well do they respond to reducing the roots?

I've searched the forum, but I can't find good examples on collecting them...
 

fore

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I have a thread somewhere about the yews I collected locally. basically, box up in pumice. It can withstand a decent amt. of root reduction.
 

Fishtank307

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I have a thread somewhere about the yews I collected locally. basically, box up in pumice. It can withstand a decent amt. of root reduction.

Thanks! I've read the thread. Bummer that you lost the original trees... I'd love to see an update on that last one you collected! It seemed to be thriving!

I read an interesting comment about trunk chopping a yew hard, then let it grow for another year before digging it up. Probably going to try that with a couple of yews from our hedge.
 

Fishtank307

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15 cm trunks in 15 years? That is extreme growth!

15 cm at the root base! I may have exaggerated when I said 15 cm trunks :D The nebari on some of the trees is very good! (I didn't expect that at first..) They all have straight trunks though.. I already have one in a growing box from last week. I had to stop digging because the temps were going to drop...
I'm tempted to trunk-chop them and leaving them for another year. But on the other hand, my tortoises need a new enclosure!
 

just.wing.it

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I saw a video mentioning taxus growth, they said, it is thought that taxus trunks thicken about one inch every 5 years, for the first 300 years, and after that they begin to have hollowing and different growth rates in different parts of the tree....
Pretty cool....

Here it is, not too detailed, but I found it interesting...
 

TomB

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leaving them for another year. But on the other hand, my tortoises need a new enclosure!
If you can wait, Graham Potter recommends mid-April to mid-May as the best time to dig yews in the UK I imagine Belgium would be similar. The key timing would be when the buds are unfurling.
 
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With a friend of mine we dug out like 80 yews, last 2 years. I got 20, 2 didn't survive (1 i screwed up with fertilizer and one in bad soil). yew's are best dogged out around april to may, it can be done earlier but keep them away from frost! The soil i most prefer is aka 50% pumice 50% and a little hand of cutting soil. Here's link that tells more: http://www.bonsaikunst.nl/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=179
Good luck.
 

Fishtank307

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Okay, I had to make a decision! I have this week off, so I had to start clearing the small patch of land for my new tortoise enclosure now. Also, they'll be waking up from hibernation soon...
I replanted 4 yews in full ground and put 1 in a container with pumice and akadama. On this one, I cut some of the large roots, applied cut paste, and left a fair amount of fleshy roots and fine roots. I'll make sure to mist it daily and protect it from frost!

20180213_131548.jpg

I couldn't keep them all of course... Some were very thin, or had a bad root spread (not radial)... A lot of them looked like this, fairly decent I guess:

20180213_135255.jpg

I left 10 (give or take) in the ground, while cutting them back hard. These will probably be left untouched until next year. Probably not the best time to cut them, but I needed to make space to prepare the ground for edible plants for my tortoises. Also, I need to put some chicken wire around them soon, to stop my shelled friends from eating the foliage and dying!

Then I left another 7 or 10 yews untouched. I'll dig them up in March or April. These will probably have the highest succes rate, considering the timing.
I'll probably lose a couple of plants, but I really needed to do some work on the enclosure while I had spare time!

Also, there are a couple of viburnums. At first I was going to toss them, but maybe there are a couple of bonsai lurking in them. They have been growing unkempt for a couple of years. I chopped them back hard and applied cut past to the wounds. If they live, I'll have a couple of carving projects in the future! We'll see... I don't know i they make good bonsai or not. I'm not even sure if they can handle being chopped like this!

20180213_151652.jpg

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leatherback

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I replanted 4 yews in full ground
Nice find. But.. Quite a bit off from the initial 15cm diameter trunks, lol.

I would consider adding a bit more substrate. It feel to me that trees like their root-to-trunk connection burried when re-settling.
 

Fishtank307

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Nice find. But.. Quite a bit off from the initial 15cm diameter trunks, lol.

I would consider adding a bit more substrate. It feel to me that trees like their root-to-trunk connection burried when re-settling.

Yeah, one was 10cm across at the base, the rest was ... disappointing :D Man, I suck at estimating!

Thanks for the tip!
 

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