I have four yew bushes, one of which is not looking too good. Bushes are at...

Asked July 31, 2013, 12:08 PM EDT

I have four yew bushes, one of which is not looking too good. Bushes are at least 60 years old. They are 6 ft. high and 5 ft. in diameter. The color of the bad one is bronzy, too yellow in color. This is the first time I have seen any change over the years that I have owned the property. They are in full sun on the east side of the house. I have the lawn treated for clover in the spring and applications added at various times by a lawn care service. Soil is very hard, but it has always been hard.

Baltimore County Maryland

1 Response

Yews do not like their roots sitting in water or soggy soil. This will cause yellowing and can kill the shrub. We have had a very wet year. It's possible that the soil has settled or grade has changed so that your yew is getting too much water.

For your hard packed soil, you can consider aerating your soil with a soil aerating machine in the fall. A plug aerator should be used. The resulting holes in the lawn can be filled with a composted material, such as decomposed leaves or a purchased product like LeafGro. This allows oxygen and water to penetrate the soil more easily,
to reach roots better. Roots need not only moisture but oxygen.
ECN