Just arrived at northern Michigan cottage to find our five 12 year old yew bushes completely shed all old needles but haveosin all tufts of new needle growth along length of most stems. Each are planted singly and exposure varies (East, west, north; some protected and some exposed to wind). The 10 year old English ivy beds look very similar - the ivy was very dense and healthy but now most of old leaves have died off but there is evidence of new leaves along most vines I see no bugs. We did have an unusual winter - much milder than typical, early spring warm temperatures followed by a very heavy snowfall in mid- march. Could this be weather related? Two odd things - we have a sixth yew, southern exposure, protected that appears completely unaffected, and all other garden plants - ferns, lily of the valley, hostas, azaleas, knock out roses, day lilies, astilbe, sweet William, wild geranium - are doing fine.
How should I care for both the ivy and yews as far as trimming, fertilizer, bug preventatives/treatment? I would appreciate anyone's help or advice. Thanks!
May 20, 2012, 07:34 PM
Third line should read "...have small tufts of new needles..." Sorry
May 20, 2012, 09:22 PM
Since both the yews and ivy are producing new leaves, it suggests to me that they're still healthy and are replacing the die-off and lost foliage. I don't really think that you have anything to worry about or need to provide any special care. Sounds as if they're doing fine.
If they had succumbed to some kind of die-off, they wouldn't be producing new growth.
In SE Michigan where I live, I've noticed some peculiar things as well. Junk trees such as mulberries which are really hard to kill are dying naturally. A massive chinese elm about 100 feet high also seems to have died over the winter.
A fellow gardener said she lost some perennials which have thrived for years. Although this isn't necessarily unusual, I think that her garden as well as my yard experienced some kind of reaction to the unusually warm winter with little snow cover. None of her plants or my trees get southern exposure. Perhaps the fact that the protected yew with southern exposure wasn't affected is a clue - it may have received more consistent exposure to the mild weather than the north, west and east yews which perhaps were more vulnerable.
I don't really think you need to do anything at this point unless the yews and ivy begin to drop their leaves and show signs of dying. I would trim the yews and ivy as you normally would. I don't think there's really any preventative treatment for a mild winter.This message has been edited. Last edited by: GardenSprite,
May 21, 2012, 12:14 AM
Thanks so much - I'm planning to trim them a little, baby them a bit and watch what happens. I tend to think it was the unusually mild winter too, and perhaps the big storm in March just added to the problem