Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Irish yew restoration - Caynham church day 3


On Thursday last week I was set the challenge of doing something with an avenue of abused Irish yews. Had these been properly maintained they would make for an attractive entrance to the churchyard. Unfortunately years of topping had left them stunted and wide and with a lot of people wanting something done about them.

The proximity and overhang of the path was also an issue that needed addressing. It was decided that the best course of action was to thin the insides of the trees, which consisted on huge amounts of woody stems, serving no purpose other than cluttering the trees and forcing any new growth outwards. This would then enable us to pull the tops of the trees in and wire them in place. Reducing the trees size and overhang and encouraging any new growth in a more favourable direction.


Whilst far from perfect the work has made the trees much more manageable. The one on the left was the most tricky to work on. the stems were so thick that no amount of pulling would pull them in sufficiently, this meant that to achieve anything like the same effect we had to prune alot of the outer branches. Hence the brown patches and the hole. Still with a couple of years growth this will be hidden and not as noticeable.

The one on the right was more like what we were trying to achieve, as is the one below.

This shape and size can now be easily maintained with a hedge trimmer once a year. And hopefully after a few years trimming they will be looking more uniform and like a proper avenue.