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How to Fertilize Evergreens Yews

Evergreen yews are species of shrubs in the conifer division of plants. They can grow quite large, in excess of 25 feet at maturity, and are often considered to be small trees. Yews are commonly used in garden hedging, as windbreaks, screens and shaped into topiary forms. Like most evergreens, yews are not very heavy feeders when planted in rich soil. But they will benefit from fertilizing, particularly during their establishment years.

Feed your younger evergreen yews less than 15 years of age in the spring of each year. Fertilize older, more mature and established yews once every other year or less frequently as needed, if at all.

Apply a 20-15-15 granular or liquid commercial fertilizer formula around the drip line of the yew without applying the fertilizer immediately around the main trunk. Alternatively, use slow-release tree fertilizer spikes driven into the soil with a mallet. Apply granules or place stakes as recommended on the product labels.

Water each fertilizer application in deeply to saturate the soil. Mulch around the drip line of the yew with a 3- to 4-inch-thick layer of organic material such as shredded bark, compost, leaf mold or cocoa bean hulls. Keep the mulch several inches away from the trunk to prevent rot and continue the mulch to a foot or more past the drip line of the yew.

Fertilize Yews

Evergreens provide year-round color and habitat for the hardiest birds. are especially useful because of their soft foliage and ability to regrow after severe shearing. English yews (Taxus baccata), hardy only in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 6 to 7, form the thick, frequently sheared hedges of the temperate formal garden. The largest dimension of an individual yew -- either height or width – hints at the amount of fertilizer it needs. Scatter granular fertilizer under the young yew and beyond its drip line by half the diameter of the plant. Scratch it into the surface of the soil and water well before mulching. Again using granular, slow-release commercial fertilizer, apply 1 to 2 pounds of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet of area covered by these larger yews or groups of yews.

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