Peter's Bonsai Blog 



Yew Trees

This tree was purchased as a substantial piece of raw material, from Wilowbog Bonsai in February 2016. The tree had been established in this pot for over a year and needed some refinement and styling to complete the image.  I expect this process to take about 3 years. The first styling was done immediately.  Some branches have been left long to encourage rapid growth and the development of back budding. Others are currently too short.  Click on both pictures to see the before and after images in more detail.  Also look at the technique for  bringing down a rear branch.


       Before styling                                                       After styling

This is the tree being exhibited at the SBA stand at Gardening Scotland in June 2016

By December 2018 the tree had filled out a bit.....


In September 2019 the tree was displayed at the UK Nationl Bonsai Exhibition, held in Bury, England.  I was very pleased that it had been selected  for the UK's premier exhibition.



Large Yew Number 2

In March 2019, I did a part exchange deal at Willowbog Bonsai and traded in 5 of my trees for this big yew. It had previously been styled but needed to fill out quite a bit.  Believe me it is big - the pot is 18 inches in diameter !   A few years TLC and developing the foliage should do the trick.  That will be useful as it might take me a few years to find a new pot!

By the spring of 2021 the tree was growing healthly and needed a haircut...........

It is still unrefined but I'm getting closer. -  Perhaps another year to go ?


I must look for that new pot.


Horticultural advice about Yews;-

Collecting: Collect Yews just after the new growth  has begun to extend. I.E. in May or June. Collect as much fine root as possible and as much top growth as you can fit in your car.  At this time of year, its the top growth that will photosynthesize and produce new roots.  Unlike most evergreens, it's ok to bare root the  tree when repotting.

Soils:  Plant in a mix of Pumice 50%, Akadama 30% and Grit 20%.

Back budding:  To encourage back budding, trim the new growth by up to 66% in June  / July.  At the same time, pluck old needles in the area that you want new buds to appear.  The New buds will apppear over the next few months.  They are precious so look after them.

Follow these links to some excellent video's on how to develop back budding by Tony Tickle.....

Part 1-

Part 2 -

Part 3 -

Wiring: Yews can be wired at any time, but the the best time to wire a branch without damaging the buds is immediately after you have removed the needles - I.E. June July.

Winter protection:  Yews have fleshy roots and can be damaged by severe frosts.  Please remember that the life of a tree in a pot is quite diferent from the same tree planted in the ground.  In Scotland it is best to protect the roots from frost.

Repotting:  Follow this link to an excellent video on repotting by Graham Potter.........


Yew Progression Series Sept 2008 - Oct 2012

Scroll down to see how it was done

From this                         to this          





 By July 2011 the tree looked like this ..........and by Oct 2012, like this.................


In the early part of 2013 this tree was sold as a part of a batch of trees traded in part exchange for a specimiem Bonsai.  I was sorry to see it go !

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