Tackling the Irish problem – of the Yews

a5k3019a5k3021We tackled another of those projects we have been deliberating about for a few years – the Irish Yews. For years we have struggled with these substantial trees resorting to pulling them with the tractor, pushing them with ladders, binding them with wire and even anchoring them with a back stay from a 50ft yacht.

Yet despite our best efforts they continued to fall about and lean over as much as ninety degrees, and occasionally breaking their binders.

Forming a significant part of the main view from the house and nurtured over many years we puzzled for months and years how we would give them another chance and a helping hand to stand tall at the end of the garden as they were always intended.

a5k3037a5k3158I’m not quite sure why having still not alighted on a solution we suddenly decided we were ready to tackle this problem. I guess we thought we had enough information at our finger tips to make a best guess.

With no central trunk we concluded we had to reduce the yews down to a height from which new growth would be steadied by substantial vertical growing limbs. Each yew had a cylindrical hole in the middle which allowed us to climb inside clearing away all growth except for some vertical starting trunks as near to the centre as possible. From these we hope the trees will grow back over the coming years.

To avoid repeated ‘leggy’, unstable growth from the existing foliage we cut away all but the outer greenery to provide a screen while the middle regrows. Eventually we hope to cut away the current outer growth to be left with strong trees in a sensible shape. What I’m not sure is whether they’ll still be Irish.

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