Posts tagged “Japanese yew

Japanese Yew Second Flush

This tree is starting to show good balanced growth. Compared to the spring image the second flush is more compact, with more buds. It will be wired when the new growth hardens off.

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Pinching Japanese Yew

Yew are pinched in the spring to balance the energy of the tree. If they are not pinched, the outer growth will become coarse and the inner growth weaker. Pinching helps maintain or develop finer branching. Yews are not pinched to promote backbudding – they don’t need any encouragement to do that (if anything, they produce too many buds).

Whole-tree pinching as shown here should not be done on trees in development! It is counterproductive to weaken the tree when you are trying to build a foliage mass and grow out branches. I’ve been developing this tree from nursery stock since 2006 and this is the first time I have pinched the whole tree.The last six or so years have been spent developing the roots and basic branch structure.

This is also the first year in which I have held back on heavy spring fertilization – I just gave a little bit of mild organic (chicken manure) to help it bounce back from the pinching. I am not planning on fertilizing it again until late summer/early fall, once everything has hardened off. Too much fertilizer will make the second flush too vigorous. Bud selection and wiring will also happen in late summer/fall.

    The lovely colour of spring yew shoots are just as stunning as some flowering trees, in my opinion. But they've gotta go!

The lovely colour of spring yew shoots are just as stunning as some flowering trees, in my opinion. But they’ve gotta go!

    After pinching. Everything was pinched - even the tiny little buds that barely opened. I left a few basal needles of the pinched shoots, as per Ryan Neil's advice in a youtube video.

After pinching. Everything was pinched – even the tiny little buds that barely opened. I left a few basal needles of the pinched shoots, as per Ryan Neil’s advice in a youtube video.

This tree does still need some branch development, but nothing major. It is often helpful to look at a tree from above to see design weaknesses. Most trees should have a pretty rounded crown when viewed from above. This tree has some noticeable gaps, but they should fill in pretty soon.

Gaps from above show the immaturity of the crown.

Gaps from above show the immaturity of the crown.