pruning yews

hi all,
i have three yews in the front yard which, over the years, have been pruned to where all the foliage forms a canopy, and it's about 5 - 7 feet high.
i want to drastically lower the height, but have nothing "green" to prune back to... just branches.
so my question is: can you prune a yew back to wood, like you can do with a crape myrtle, and have new growth sprout from there? i did something similar with some over-grown azaleas a few years ago, thinking they would never come back anyway and i'd have to replace them, but they did indeed start new growth and are now quite full. i would never have though you could do that. so now i'm thinking maybe i could do the same with these yews.
thanks in advance,
-eric
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-eric zwicky
wallingford, pa
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Why you yew ewe you.
It would be better to prune it back in the spring when the new growth is coming out.
Do it now and all you will have is ugly naked branches all winter.
In the mean time, you should just trim back the foliage.

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so i take it that one can indeed prune a yew back to bare wood, and green growth will sprout? just need to confirm that.
i'll definitely wait until spring.
thanks,
-eric
Cereus-validus-........... wrote:

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Yews are one of the only conifers that will bud back from bare wood. Having said that, it is always wise to leave at least some green growth when hard pruning. The tree should be in excellent health and timing is important-- early spring is an excellent time for hard pruning yews.
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David J. Bockman, Fairfax, VA (USDA Hardiness Zone 7)
email: snipped-for-privacy@beyondgardening.com
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David Bockman wrote:

excellent! that's exactly what i need to know. thanks a lot,
-eric
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-eric zwicky
wallingford, pa
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eric zwicky wrote:

I pruned back 3 old yews about 10 inches deep to get access to the house wall.
I did this in June 05, and all 3 yews had major 'yellow foliage' summer die off...
They are coming back to 95% green as of now... The other 7 adjacent 'house wall'
yews I did not cut stayed a perfect Green....
There may be a season not to cut yews back to bare wood ?? OR I induced a
yew disease via the wet/sappy end cuts....
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Eric,
You can drastically prune yews back to bare wood and expect backbudding, however the yews have to be very healthy and you do risk some dieback. It's better to cut back in stages, always retaining some green growth.
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David J. Bockman, Fairfax, VA (USDA Hardiness Zone 7)
email: snipped-for-privacy@beyondgardening.com
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