I have a row of yew bushes, some of which are not healthy at all! I’m in Pittsburgh, PA and have lived in this house 15 years. These bushes used to be healthy (I have old pictures), but over the past five years, the ones toward the end have produced less foliage and turned brown. It seems progressive -- that is, the bushes in front look great (I can hardly keep up with them). Then they get progressively smaller and more unhealthy as you go along. You see the bad ones have top growth but the sides are scant.
I’ve done some research... I don’t use driveway salt. They get sun almost all day (even the healthy ones), and they sit in a line that runs almost exactly east-west. The soil is mostly clay and there’s no standing water here. There is an unhappy looking evergreen tree nearest the unhealthy plants that I plan to take down soon. It’s about 20 feet high. Also, there is ivy around the bases of some the plants, but nothing excessive. They don’t climb into the bushes. I’ve read that this shouldn’t be a problem.
What could be the culprit, and can these bushes be saved? Thanks.
(First picture bushes face south; second, same bushes facing north.)