Rooting base of old English Yew to move it.

Asked July 2, 2018, 5:45 PM EDT

I have an English Yew that I trained into 3 tiers. I found it when it was only about 6 inches tall around 1989. It is now way too big and is getting crowded out by some very large red cedars. My question is this. Since the first ball starts about two feet up the trunk can I make it grow roots at the base then cut below that and move it. This is my idea. Get a big black plastic pot and cut it so I can put it around the base. Put bricks under the pot leaving room to cut the trunk below the pot once it has roots. Score the trunk up and down. Put rooting hormone in the scores and fill the black pot with moisture retentive soul. Would this work to create a new root system above the other one so I could move it?

Cumberland County Pennsylvania

2 Responses

The top ball won't be able to sustain itself and make new roots before it runs out of nutrients normally supplied by the existing root system.Rooting hormone is for small cuttings and won't grow new roots for a large section of a shrub. Moving a mature shrub has to be done in stages. Here is a link to an expert answer to a similar question posed by one of our users. The technique suggested in the answer is the recommended way to move an established woody plant.

One of my coworkers suggested I send you a fact sheet on air layering which is somewhat similar to what you want to do. Here is a link to a fact sheet. As you will learn when you read the article, the technique is somewhat tricky and doesn't succeed with every species. However, it's worth a try if your choice is to lose the yew. Good luck.