Hicks Yew Plant Care Guide – Updated for 2022

Hicks Yew (Hicksii Yew) are evergreen trees or shrubs good for the privacy screen and tall hedges. The tree works well as a foundation plant or placed in pairs at entries or doorways.

Hicks Yew profile

Hicks Yew hedge is very popular in the northern regions of the United States. Including Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Vermont, and Wisconsin. They are Hicks Yew’s grow zone.

Has scientific name Taxus x media Hicksii. With common name Hicks Yew or Hicksii Yew.

It features a resilient to salt and pollution. That is why it is a fantastic choice for yards in urban and coastal areas.

Foliage and fruits

Hicks Yew has dark green leaves or foliage. The foliage emerges as light green in the spring months.

The leaves covered with ferns remain dark green color during the winter. The flowers are not ornamental so it is not flowering trees nor flowering shrubs.


The fruits are red drupes that emerge from early to late fall months. The fruits are called arils. The fruits are toxic to mammals. But arils are loved by birds including honeycreepers, woodpeckers, vireos, and flycatchers. It is fruit trees.


This plant grows in an upright form. Hicks Yew shrub has a moderate growth rate at 1 foot per year.

With the growth rate, the shrub is easy to control. The shrub can reach up to approximately 18 feet tall at its mature stage. Users of the Hicks Yew usually keep the shrub at 8 to 12-foot tall.

The width could go up to 10 feet wide at the mature stage. The Hick Yew is multi-stemmed and grows straight up. To maintain the desired height and width, practicing pruning could easily be done.

Hardiness zone

The shrub is hardy. It has the plant hardiness zone of USDA Zone 5 and can be grown through Zones 8. This shrub can be easily grown for most of the United States zones.

How to grow and care for Hicks Yew


It can grow well in any type of soil even in poor soil. Soil drainage is the key to its growth. If the soil is too wet, it will not grow.

Maintaining proper soil moisture levels is very important to achieve good soil’s drainage. If the soil drains too rapidly, you need to water frequently.

A slow-draining soil can cause many problems including disease, stunted, compaction, poor aeration, shallow root growth, and poor anchoring.


Before planting Hicks Yew, it is best to test your soil’s drainage using soil test kit. Do this by digging a one-foot deep hole and fill it with water.

When the water has drained completely, fill the hole again with water. Use a timer and tape measure, see how much inches the hole drained after 20 minutes. Multiply the number of inches by three and discover how many inches drain in one hour.

The best water drainage rate is approximately 2 to 6 inches per hour. If you multiply and the result is less than 2 inches, the soil has poor drainage.

Poor drainage could cause waterlogged and wet soil. Should the rate is more than 6 inches per hour, it is excessive drainage. Excessive drainage could cause leaching and drought conditions.

Soil improvement

To improve excessive drainage soil, you can add organic matter. Organic matter holds water in the soil. You can use compost, peat moss, and coconut coir.

You can also help the soil by adding mulch to prevent evaporation and help the soil stay moist longer.

To improve poor drainage soil, you can organic matter to enhance the soil structure. You can also create French drains. They are trenches filled with rocks or gravel to help divert water away from Hicks Yew planted areas.

You should create a proper slope to move the water downhill. Strengthen the trench with a piece of commercial landscape fabric. This is to keep the dirt away from the gravel.

You can cover with commercial landscape fabric to seal in the gravel. Cover it with 4 inches of soil. This is to keep the water flow underground.

You can also build a berm. The dimension of the berm should be 8 to 12 inches high. The width should be at 3 to 4 feet wide. The berm should have a gradual slope to prevent erosion.

Raised beds can also help with the drainage. It gives elevated ground for the drainage. It can be built from concrete blocks, wood, or rock. Raised beds should raise the soil level at a minimum of 6 inches above ground level.

Light requirement and site location

One great factor from Hicks Yew hedge is the tolerance of all kinds of sun exposures. From full shade to full sun condition.

With this great feature, the evergreen hedges have the flexibility of location. You can freely design the location anywhere you want as long as you have improved the soil.

Since Hicks Yew hedge thrives well in full shade, full sun to part shade, it can interact with humans or highly tolerant of urban conditions or urban gardens.


The Hicks Yew hedge can be planted at any time of year. You can plant in fall, winter, summer, and spring.

You might want to avoid planting when the weather is hot. But if you do, keep the hedge well-watered.

Make sure you have prepared the soil well and have enough nutrients and have good drainage, before planting.

As mentioned before, providing mulch can help protect them as the root to grow and establish. Mulching will also help with nutrients and drainage.


In its mature stage, Hicks Yew is drought-tolerant. Make sure you water the hedge about 1 inch of water every week.

Especially in hot and dry weather. Do this during the first 2 years after planting. Avoid overwatering because the Hicks Yew does not like soggy soil.

You can install a drip irrigation system for the shrub. The purpose of this system is to provide water directly to the root system.

It is to minimize water waste, watering with effectivity and deeply. You can purchase drip irrigation system kits.


Naturally, Hicks Yew does not need special care of fertilizer. The least application is using a slow-release fertilizer at a very low rate. The fertilizer works to improve faster growth.


Hicks Yew as a hedge is highly adaptable to pruning. You can practice pruning in early spring or late fall. Pruning is needed once per year.

Prune Hicks Yew using hand shears or an electric hedge trimmer with a sharp blade.

Pests and problems

Hicks Yew does not have particular pest problems. It is susceptible to winter burn. Twig blight and needle blight are problems. In the poor soil condition, it may experience root rot. You can fix the problem by applying neem oil.