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Q.Can I Cut Back An Overgrown Yew In August?

Zone 21502 (6B & 7A) | Anonymous added on August 23, 2021 | Answered

This yew is very overgrown and almost gutter-height. I’ve lived here two years and pruned back each year, but it’s grown much faster than I expected and I haven’t been able to keep up with it. It completely blocks off the front corner of my house, fully obscuring one window, and half of my bay window. It’s at least 15 years old. Ideally, I’d like to cut it to window sill height, but I’m sure that would be too drastic, since your article said no more than 1/3 of the canopy. I also wish I could cut at least two feet off each side. I have time to take this on now before my classes start, not in late winter. What, if anything, can I safely do to it now? (I’m not allowed to remove it so that’s not an option.) I’d greatly appreciate your help! Thank you, Kim in Cumberland MD, 21502 (Zone 6B and 7A)

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Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on September 4, 2021

It's too late in the year to prune as it may not have time to harden off before winter. Wait till it's dormant, or you can wait till new spring growth has emerged.


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