A few posts ago, we looked at the relative merits of bare root, root ball and container-grown plants. The conclusion was that container-grown offered what the bean counters like to call ‘long-term best value’. This is particularly true when it comes to Yew – in fact we only grow Yew in containers as it is not particularly reliable when planted as a bare root or root ball…
As Yew is the formal hedge, it should be planted with as much certainty of its likely future growing pattern as nature will allow. Container-grown plants can be placed with greater precision, so using this method will get your Yew hedge off to the best possible start.
Yew is a relatively slow grower and while this is excellent for those looking to minimize maintenance, the impatient may be less grateful. Choosing medium to tall container-grown plants will cut a few years off the waiting time to achieving a full-grown hedge.
Also, while it would be inaccurate to describe its roots as particularly fragile, they do not appreciate the inevitable stress from the digging up and transportation inherent to bare root or root ball plants. Container-grown avoids this, though you should still handle with care – the plants won’t thank you for being dropped or banged onto the ground.
I am fully aware that, as a commercial nurseryman, arguing that customers should spend more if they can may sound a little self-serving. However, Yew should NOT be discounted on grounds of cost. It is not the rich man’s hedge and, if the smallest size of container-grown Yew is chosen, a 10m hedge can be planted for under £150.