Taxus baccata is one of the most popular hedging plants.
It can be grown as a stand-alone or hedge but is more suitable for a low hedge. The dense evergreen species can produce bright green growth in spring and red fruits in autumn. The fruits are attractive to birds but harmful to humans, livestock and pets.
The species is tolerant to many growing conditions, including chalk and shade, but not poorly drained or waterlogged soil. Its tolerance to hard pruning and slow growth rate makes it the perfect plant for hedging.
Growing Taxus Baccata
Taxus Baccata has made a name for itself for being one of the best hedging plants. The plant has been grown in the UK for so many years and has many benefits and features that make it a great hedging plant.
Why you should grow Taxus Baccata
Here are reasons why you should grow a Taxus Baccata hedge in your garden:
- They are low maintenance plants. You can keep your hedge in shape by pruning only once a year. However, when you are faced with an overgrowth, the plant can tolerate hard pruning
- They maintain their evergreen colour all year round, giving your garden a beautiful look
- The hedge shrubs well in any planting site as long as it is not waterlogged
- Taxus Baccata hedges look amazing at any height, making it the best hedging plant for any sized garden
- The plant is also very popular with birds, offering both food and shelter. Wrens build nests on these plants whereas Jays, Waxwings and Robins feast on the bright red berries
- The hedge trees are available in all root types. Taxus baccata root balls can be planted any time of the year, except in summer months
- It is also the longest living plant in the UK with estimated ages of about 3000 years. Although the trunk of Taxus Baccata hollows with age, this doesn’t make it unstable because when it reaches a certain size, shoots grow at the base fusing into the trunk and serving as buttresses.
- Hedges grown from Taxus baccata can be trimmed to any shape. You can trim them to formal, neat designs or manipulate them into eye-catching curves and shape. They also make a great topiary
- Although Taxus Baccata has a slow growth rate, it can achieve up to 20-40 cm of growth a year
Where to plant Taxus Baccata
Taxus Baccata does not tolerate waterlogged soils as such conditions often lead to Phytophthora root rot. Plant Taxus baccata in sandy, loamy or clay-based soils. It can also grow well in full sun and partial shade.
How to plant Taxus Baccata
Planting this yew plant takes careful soil preparation and site selection since unfavourable growing conditions will result in a weak and unattractive hedge. When planted under optimal conditions, they can establish quickly and reach a mature height of between 762cm and 1219cm
- Choose a suitable planting site for your Taxus Baccata plant
- Position the plant about 1 meter at minimum away from structures since their shallow spreading roots may damage walkways and foundations
- Use a home test kit to test the pH of the soil. If the pH is more than 7.5, amend the soil using mildly acidic compost. On the other hand, if the pH is lower than 6, apply neutral compost. Work these amendments into the soil thoroughly
- Dig a trench twice the width and 1 or 2 cm deeper as the height as the clod. The bottom of the trench should be level and the sides straight.
Mix the soil from the trench with some peat moss or compost. This helps in enriching the soil and loosening the existing dirt to allow new roots to establish easily
- Place the plant in the trench and fill back the amended soil around its roots. Hold the plant upright as you backfill to prevent it from leaning. Water the soil periodically as you fill the trench
- Water the hedging plants generously after planting it until the soil feels moist in the top 10cm. Keep watering the plant the first few months after planting to help the young plant establish.
- Spread a thin layer of mulch around a 50-cm radius around the base of the young plant to keep the soil moist and prevent weed growth.
Plant Taxus Baccata plants in early spring or autumn for the best results. Support plants bearing several trunks with stakes to prevent leaning. Thoroughly wash your hands after touching any part of the yew tree hedge because their foliage is usually toxic.
Spacing is very important when it comes to creating a taxus baccata hedge. Proper spacing will allow the plant to form thick a within a considerable period. In this case, plant 2 to 3 Taxus Baccata plants per meter.
Care & Advice
Watering- yew hedge plants require watering, especially during hot summer months. Young plants should be watered thoroughly until they are fully established. However, you should avoid over-watering as this will harm the plant. Feeding-Add fertilizer twice a year to promote growth.
Taxus Baccata is susceptible to vine weevil, gall mites, scale insects and tortrix moth. The english yew plants are also susceptible to Phytophthora. These problems can be solved with a chemical treatment available at your local Garden Centre
Should I buy Taxus Baccata plants for hedging?
Taxus baccata is one of the most popular hedging plants. The Yew plant maintains its evergreen colour throughout the year and grows well in many types of soil. Another interesting thing about these plants is that they don’t require a lot of maintenance. Taxus Baccata can also live for many years, which makes them the ideal hedging plants for your long-term landscaping projects.
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