Ugly Yews

Hi all, I'm new here so if this is not the forum to ask this, apologies in advance.
I recently purchased a new home that has the most hideous overgrown yews at the front foundation. This was the big thing long ago I guess. Anyway, I want them completely gone and the area transformed to small accents plants and bedding. My question is this, I plan to hack them down and then either dig up the roots or kill them with round up. These yews (10 in all) are anywhere from 3Hx3W to 5Hx8W, and so I am wondering how big the root systems will be? I wouldn't want to have huge gaping holes close to the house for too long as we are into the rainy season here in St Louis. Any advice appreciated.
Maggie
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Here's what I did with my overgrown bushes, including yews: I put up signs and advertised "free shrubs, you dig". I got rid of at least 25 shrubs and 2 50 foot long privet hedges that way and never had to lift a finger. I watched while they labored!

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<< Here's what I did with my overgrown bushes, including yews: I put up signs and advertised "free shrubs, you dig". I got rid of at least 25 shrubs and 2 50 foot long privet hedges that way and never had to lift a finger. I watched while they labored!
I had the same experience with some sapling oaks--nice Virginia Oaks, but in the wrong place. At a nursery, you miight pay $700--1400 depending on the size! zemedelec
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Don't think I would do that as I'm gone frequently but I like the way you think.
Maggie
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Damn, why in hell would anyone use roundup to kill bushes? It won't work, it's bad for the environment, and it will hurt flowers you put in afterwards.
Use an axe to cut up the roots, and just take out the big chunks. It's not worth digging too deep, it you get most of the top they won't come back. A bag of topsoil will cover the hole, and wil probably be cheaper than the roundup.
-
theoneflasehaddock
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Cut them off to the ground. As far as getting the roots out, good luck. I killed four yews about 20 years ago. Had a backhoe out there once and had three of the stumps pulled, but one was too close to the foundation. It's still out there. Just as solid as the day I cut it down. So unless you've got a backhoe.......
--
Ann, Gardening in zone 6a
Just south of Boston, MA
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OK, here's an alternative.. You'll robably hate it, but its just a suggestion..
Yew is one of the few, if only conifers that will resprout from hard pruning.. Why not cut them RIGHT back.. let them regrow and topiarise them or something,.. that way you ahve the best of both worlds.. manageable item of interest AND you can still have bedding etc in front of them..
I personally think bedding is a waste of time leftover from the victorian era. And only suited to Town Hall flowerbeds and other areas of civic pride.. But there ya go. Tha's just me :-p
Jim
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I had basically the same problem. I cut the yews down as much as possible, removing all branches and cutting the stumps to ground level for the smaller ones. When they regrew from the stumps I just pulled off the shoots. In two years the growth from the stumps stopped.
-- beeky
MaGGie wrote:

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Thanks for all the suggestions about my yew questions. Guess I'll just cut them down and keep it up until they give up 8^]).
Maggie
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