Yew tree hedge dying
I have a hedge of 16 yews about four feet high.. Three of them have turned brown and are now dead and some of the others are now getting brown dead shoots. Could this be a disease problem? Is there something happening in the montgomery county area? Do you have Any advice?
Montgomery County Maryland
It sounds like this hedge has been established for some time. Yews do not tolerate "wet feet", i.e. sitting in water or soggy, saturated soils for long periods. Last summer, Maryland had record-breaking rains, and your yews may have gotten root rot as a result of the saturated soil. You cannot treat that.
With climate change, we are told to expect more weather events, such as abnormal rainfall, etc. If you can improve the drainage for your yew hedge, that may allow them to continue to thrive in their location. Remove dead ones, and prune out dead branches.
As always, never pile mulch on the trunks of shrubs (or anything else), and limit mulch to 2-3" deep.