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Tree Surgery

Shortening tall yew trees to 1.5m

I have 2 tall yew trees in my front garden, above and near telephone wires.
They take too much moisture from the ground (clay soil). If I cut them to 1.5m short
- will this reduce their moisture uptake
- will the new shoots grow from the cut top to cover it
- when is the best time in the year to do this to not kill them.

4 Answers from MyBuilder Tree Surgeons

Best Answer

The short answer to the complex question is, yes; by reducing to 1.5m the Taxus baccata will draw less water from the surrounding ground. As there will be less leaf surface and therefore less photosynthesis. However, in the long term, i.e. Yew long term, in 10-1000 years there might be more (dependant also on the existing tree size, nature and shape), depending on the volume and nature of the epicormic growth produced in that time. Also, you will not kill the tree. I have exact examples of this from Kinaldy House just outside St. Andrews. Now is the perfect time to do this job.


Answered 8th Oct 2019

There has been recent research into root reactions to pruning. Reducing the crown of trees has shown an increase in root activity as the tree looks for nutrients for repair.

I would not agree with the answer.

My answer would be contact a registered tree surveyor who has the relevant training and accreditation’s to give you the most comprehensive answer.


Answered 16th Oct 2019

Hi see above answers well. the trees will draw less water. If you have any buildings or structures near by? Is so heave can still be a problem on clay soil.
You can Pollard the trees and they will come back sometimes yew has a tantrum and may take a couple of years to show anything.


Answered 9th Oct 2019

It depends on the species. Yew is an excellent slow growing hedging plant and can be hard pruned any time of the year.


Answered 21st Oct 2019

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