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Plant Profile: Yew Pine (Podocarpus macrophyllus)

A native of southern Japan and southern and eastern China, this small to medium evergreen tree is also called Buddhist pine but is not a pine at all. Its fleshy, berry-like fruit reveal its relationship to yews. The lustrous dark green needlelike leaves and compact columnar form make it an ideal plant for hedges and screening. It is also a fine specimen plant or part of a foundation planting. Yew pine also tolerates salt spray and is useful at the seashore. It does well in containers and can be moved indoors during the winter in cold climates.

Type: Evergreen coniferous tree

Outstanding Feature: Compact form; attractive foliage

Form: Pyramidal

Growth Rate: Slow

Bloom: Plants do not produce flowers; male and female parts occur on different trees with ‘berries” produced only on the female trees. You will need to plant both male and female trees if “berry”production is important.

Size: 20-40’ H x 4-10’ W

Light: Sun or light shade

Soil: Fertile, well drained, neutral pH

Fertilizer: Apply complete food such as 15-15-15 twice a year, in early spring and early fall.

Hardiness: USDA Zones 7-11; Sunset climate zones 4-9, 12-24

Care: Prune in May and July to achieve desired shape and size.

Pests and Diseases: Aphids (can be controlled by strong stream of water or Neem oil)

Propagation: Semi-hardwood stem tip cuttings in summer

Outstanding Selection: ‘Maki’ (dwarf, 4-6′ H x 2″ W)

Comments: Tolerates some drought when established but needs weekly watering in extreme heat.

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