How to Plant Hicks Yew


The Hicks yew thrives in full to partial sun, within planting zones 4 through 7. If you live within one of these zones, and need a large hedge to fill an empty spot in your yard, the Hicks yew may be the plant for you. This evergreen conifer grows to heights of 20 feet with a spread that can equal 12 feet or more. The Hicks yew develops small red fruits and the foliage is an eye-catching dark, glossy green that shimmers in the sunlight.

Things You'll Need

  • Pitchfork
  • Soil testing kit
  • Agricultural lime or peat moss
  • Garden hose
  • Soaker hose
  • Turn over the soil in the planting location with a pitchfork, which will soften the earth and give the roots of the yew the ability to spread. Test the soil pH afterward using a soil test kit. Yews favor soil with a pH between 6.0 and 7.0. If your soil is out of this range, it needs amendments.

  • Amend the soil according to the pH test reading. If the pH of your soil is lower than the necessary 6.0, add agricultural lime. Lower a pH above 7.0 with peat moss. Add the amendment by following the manufacturers label instructions.

  • Dig the hole for the Hicks yew at least twice the width of the root-ball. The depth of the hole should match that of the root-ball -- no deeper. Yews grown in nursery pots are okay to plant any time during the year, as long as the ground is not frozen.

  • Turn the Hicks yew on its side and slide it out of its nursery container. Stand the yew upright in the center of the planting hole. Backfill the hole to the halfway point and then fill the hole with water from a garden hose. Continue backfilling when the water recedes. Tamp down the soil around the main stem of the Hicks yew using your foot. This will remove trapped air.

  • Supply the Hicks yew with a deep watering immediately after planting. Use a soaker hose, which will force the water down to the roots of the yew. Keep the soil soaked to a 1-inch depth at all times during the first year of growth with weekly waterings. Once the Hicks yew establishes its roots in the soil, supplemental watering is only necessary when the weather is unseasonably dry.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you are planting more than one Hicks yew, space the holes at least 3 to 4 feet apart, giving the roots of each plant room for expansion.
  • After the first year of growth, the Hicks yew benefits from a dose of all-purpose fertilizer in the spring.
  • A yearly pruning during the summer will encourage new growth.
  • Do not over-soak the soil around the yew. If you push one of your fingers down into the soil and it feels wet at a depth of 1 inch, there is no need to provide more water. Too much water will rot the roots and kill the yew.

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