Yew Hedge at the end of a garden

Everything you need to know about Yew Hedges

Known as the ‘King of Hedging’, English Yew hedges (or Taxus Baccata) have an easy-to-trim, dark-green, conifer foliage with a slow growth rate – an ideal choice for shaping formal displays, creating privacy or reducing noise.

If you’re considering a Yew hedge for your outdoor space, take a look at our top frequently asked questions…

Are they difficult to grow and maintain?

In short, no. While The Yew may have a reputation for being difficult, like a Box hedge they are easy to grow and maintain with the right care.

Is it a good hedge for wildlife?

All hedges are great for wildlife! Creating homes and sanctuaries for a variety of birds, small garden mammals and insects helps to create a diverse outdoor space. Yew Hedges also have the advantage of being disliked by herbivorous wildlife such as rabbits and deer, so you won’t find your hedge being used as a snack.

Is The Yew suitable for topiary?

Yew Hedges are an excellent choice for topiary and are a popular choice with the pros. While novices may prefer to practice on faster growing, and cheaper, hedges such as a Privet or Box.

Is this hedge suitable for a front garden hedge?

Box, Yew and Privet hedges are all traditional and popular choices for front gardens. The Yew hedge has great curb appeal and is a great choice for creating privacy or a backdrop for flowers.  Due to its growth rate, these hedges can also be used as low garden edging.

Is it suitable as a barrier?

Yes. As the Yew Hedge forms a dense, thick hedge, it works well as a barrier for sound and prying eyes.

Can I grow it in containers?

When planted with good drainage and given proper care, The Yew will thrive as a specimen tree left to grow or clipped to create formal topiary. So yes is the answer!

Do I need to consider light and shade when planting?

Yes, The Yew will be happiest in full sun, in light and partial shade.

Does The Yew prefer wet or dry conditions?

The Yew is a fairly tolerant hedge when it comes to drought (responding well to irrigation in summer months) but doesn’t thrive well in very damp conditions. If you have a garden that gets wet and waterlogged, we suggest choosing Hornbeam instead.

When should I prune?  

Your regime will influence when you prune. Low-maintenance trimming is best done in August and hard pruning (if required) in Spring. If you have complex topiary, trim in June and/or late August.

To find out more about Yew Hedges or get started with your own Yew in trough, see our selections here and here.