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Yew Hedge

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Taxus baccata
English Yew

The Yew is one of the three conifers native to Britain, the others being Scots Pine and Juniper An evergreen tree, native to chalk downs in southern England, most parts of the tree are toxic if eaten by humans or livestock.

Friendly for Birds

Availability: In stock

From: £12.00


Root Type Supplied Size Density Availability Unit Price Qty
3L Pot 20-30cm 3-4 / m In Stock
From £12.00

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From: £12.00

Specimens are broadly conical if single stemmed, multistemmed trees have a spreading habit. Huge and ancient yews are often found in churchyards; some  may be thousands of years old, and are hollow, although this has no effect on their health.

Planting Position
Fully hardy, yews will grow in any well drained soil in sun or shade. They are tolerant of coastal exposure, dry soils and urban pollution.

Growth Rate: Slow
Final Height: 10 – 25m
Final Spread: 8 – 10m

Foliage & Flowers
Leaves are dark green and linear, narrowing to a sharp point, set spirally around erect shoots, in a rank each side of side shoots. They are ridged above and yellow green on the underside, 2 – 4cm long and up to 3mm wide. Male and female flowers are borne on separate trees, which is a primitive feature of conifers. Male flowers are small and globular, along the underside of the shoots of the previous year. They become yellow and shed clouds of pollen in February. Female flowers are solitary and green, swelling and becoming a red fruit in September, containing a toxic black seed.

Plant Interest
Yew can withstand hard pruning and shaping, so is a very useful plant for topiary. The dense foliage provides shelter and protection for nesting birds - yew is often found as an understorey in beech woods, and the UK's smallest birds, the firecrest and goldcrest  often nest here. The fruit is eaten by birds such as the Blackbird, Mistle Thrush, Song Thrush and Fieldfare, and small mammals such as squirrels and dormice. The leaves are eaten by caterpillars of the Satin Beauty moth.

Landscape Use
Yew is widely planted as hedging in gardens and as topiary.

The strong, supple timber has many uses. In the past the thin, springy branches were used to make longbows, nowadays the wood is made into veneer, and used in furniture making.

Planting may be carried out at any time between early-November and mid-May.

Planting Willow and Poplar Setts / Cuttings

The cuttings are quick and easy to plant. They are provided with a slanted cut at the base and a straight cut at the top to make insertion into the ground easier and distinguish top from bottom. They can simply be pushed into loose cultivated soil and firmed in. They will need no support. In firmer soils simply make a vertical slit with a spade and push the cutting to the bottom of the slit and firm well by treading. Alternatively a narrow hole may be made with a bar or spike and the cutting pushed to the bottom and firmed well. For larger-scale planting schemes, a mole-plough or subsoil blade may be pulled through the ground in rows and the cuttings simply pushed into the loosened soil slit and firmed in by foot.

In order to get strong root development, you must ensure there is sufficient length below the soil level. The smallest cuttings (30cm / 1ft) must be planted so that only 5cm (2") is showing above ground. This makes them vulnerable to being smothered by weeds and grass before they get away, and so they are only suited to situations where they will receive a high standard of care in the early days. The two foot long cuttings (60 cm) are planted so that half is in the soil. Being larger they contain greater reserves of energy and grow away faster. In most situations the 60cm (2ft) cuttings are the best option and will produce a tree, if looked after, of 180-240cm (6 - 8ft) high in the first growing season.

All the cuttings are vulnerable to surrounding competition and often the reason for failure is down to the freshly planted cuttings having to compete with existing vegetation in the early stages, whilst they are trying to grow new roots. It is always best to clear the area of any existing vegetation where possible and keep control of this during the first 18 months in order to give the plants the best chance of success.


Planting Bare Root Whips and Hedging

Bare root plants can planted by notch or pit planting methods. For more information, please download this helpsheet.

Planting bare root whips and hedging help sheet


The decision on whether to plant rooted trees and/or which size of cuttings will depend on:

      - How easy a job you want planting to be

      - How well you will look after your trees 

      - Your soil type and site

      - How quickly you need results


All sizes of cutting root equally well.

The smallest one foot long (30 cm) cuttings must be planted so that only 2 inches (5 cm) is showing above ground. This makes them vulnerable to being smothered by weeds and grass before they get away, and so they are only suited to situations where they will receive a high standard of care in the early days. The two foot long cuttings (60 cm) are planted so that half is in the soil. This means that the new growth starts above weed and grass height. Being larger they also contain greater reserves of energy and grow away faster. 

In most situations the 2 foot long (60 cm) cuttings are the best option and will produce a tree, if looked after, of 6 - 8ft high in the first growing season.

On dry sites such as sands and gravels, or on banks, we would suggest that you plant a longer cutting and insert a larger proportion into the soil. Both the hybrid willows and poplars have the ability to make roots from any part of the stem and so, if planted deeply, will produce deep roots, which will always find moisture. 

The rooted trees and longer cuttings will cope better with difficult conditions and weed or grass competition to give instantly visible results.

Further information on rooted or unrooted plants can be found here.


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Our bare root plants and cuttings are delivered between November and May (specific dates cannot be guaranteed) but we do encourage early planting for the best results.


Most orders are dispatched within 3-5 working days where stocks are available. If they are not available at the time of order you will be notified and an alternative delivery date discussed with you. 

Our e-Gift Vouchers will be sent out within 24 hours of order.

We ship to mainland UK and the Isle of Wight (although surcharges may be incurred in some more remote areas – see below). Our orders are generally sent out using a national courier but for local deliveries, we may use our own couriers. Orders can also be collected from the nursery by prior appointment and we are more than happy for you to do this if you prefer. 

Our standard delivery charge is £15 plus VAT. This is for a next day delivery service in areas where this is available (i.e. mainland UK). For some of our products, such as seeds and planting accessories, the delivery charge is £4.95 + VAT. Our e-Gift Vouchers do not incur a delivery charge (please select 'Free Shipping' at the Checkout). For further information about Delivery, please click here.

There's usually no need to wait in for a delivery, our couriers will leave it in a safe place for you. If there is somewhere in particular you would like it left, please let us know at the time of ordering.


It is important to look after your trees as they mature so now click on After-Planting Care for some useful guide-lines.