It is often said that gardeners are as likely to agree as economists, and so it is perhaps only to be expected that opinions differ (quite widely in some instances) as to the correct distance between plants when creating a Yew Hedge.
Our advice, born of many years’ experience, is that two to three evenly spaced plants per metre works extremely well. Obviously, if two per metre are planted, you will have to wait a little longer for a true hedge to form, while three per metre will produce a denser hedge more quickly.
Incidentally, while it is certainly true that Yew is by no means the fastest growing hedging plant, the idea that its growth is glacial is something of a myth. Once into its second year, you can expect annual growth of around 30cm providing you do not cut its growing tip.
A vital rule: While Yew will tolerate being planted a little on the shallow side, plant it too deep and there is a real risk of the submerged bark succumbing to rot
- Replace some of the soil to the trench or hole and firm. When the yew is introduced, its crown should be level with the ground
- Gently ease the plant out of its container, tease out the roots and place in its new home, checking that it is at the correct depth
- Fill the remaining space with the soil, ensuring the Yew plant remains straight and at the right depth
- Once the immediate area in the trench or hole is filled, firm down well. Holding the plant while doing this will prevent it from sinking or moving from the vertical water well
- You can now apply a much to help keep weeds down, though remember to leave a 7 cm exclusion zone around the stem to protect it from the danger of rotting. Chipped bark is ideal, though well-rotted compost and/or manure is better if you are growing on improved soil