My yews lost all their needles this winter (I'm in New Hampshire). I planted them 3 years ago and this is the first for this. Will they be ok? Will the needles grow back? I hope so- I really do love them.

  • I don't know about yews, but I know that my buxus lost all its leaves last autumn, and fully recovered in the spring - and I did not do anything, just waited for recovery.
    – VividD
    Mar 23 '18 at 22:45
  • Thank you! Fingers crossed- will feed them in late spring!
    – laurie
    Mar 24 '18 at 2:46
  • Yews do not usually lose needles unless situations are dire. They do not come back well. We are in charge of proper fertilizer formulations and additions for all the plants we grow. Fertilizer is not a cure all. Where are these yews, have you ever applied fertilizer? Are these Yews in the shade or sun? I doubt you have a chemistry problem. Did anything happen a month or two ago? More likely a major environmental stress such as Bamboo described.
    – stormy
    Mar 24 '18 at 5:50
  • Well, they have thrived every year with new growth so I had to assume their location was good. I live in my so we get snow, ice and temp flucts in winter but they have survived all this prior. Very strange.
    – laurie
    Mar 24 '18 at 10:49
  • Did the needles fall on the ground or did they just seem to disappear? I used to live in deer country, and in hard winters deer eat everything, even plants (like yews) that they usually leave alone. I remember seeing one garden that contained bristlecone pine, yews, many junipers (some on standards, others not, chaemacyparis, and a border of mature Emerald arbor vitae. It was a beautiful evergreen garden. After one night in March, everything except the tops of the arbs was gone.
    – Jurp
    Mar 24 '18 at 13:54

The Yew might put out more needles, it's a wait and see. Usually, winter burn shows itself by yellowing needles, which turn brown and eventually fall off, they don't just drop off in their green state. Winter burn is aggravated by the ground being frozen for a length of time, which means the trees cannot take up water, and that may cause the needles to discolor and fall.

I suggest you give the trees some time to see if they start putting out new growth, at which point you can decide whether any dead parts need pruning out completely.

  • Thank you! Fingers crossed- will feed them in late spring!
    – laurie
    Mar 24 '18 at 2:47

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