Yew clippings

Jellymoon

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Absolutely gutted to find this morning that our new gardener has put a pile of hedge cuttings, including yew, from our front garden round near the horses field on a bit of grass verge next to a track I sometimes let the horses on to graze/leg stretch when the field is really wet.

Not his fault, but I had no idea he was going to put them there, I guess he thought it was nicely out the way.

He’s coming back tomorrow to remove all the clippings, but will I ever be able to let them graze there? I can go through the grass with a fine tooth comb and get every bit I see up, but will the grass forever be contaminated? Is there anything I can do to neutralise it?

Thankfully it‘s not in their field, and they can’t reach it, but it is only about 10 yards from the gate. Luckily it’s not windy. Scary.

We only have one small bit of yew in the hedge at the front of the house, now where near where the horses are, but I‘m going to ask him to just get rid of the damn thing altogether.
 

Jellymoon

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Thank you Mule, I’ve been out there picking as much as I can up, then we will get the whole area cleared with the gardener tomorrow. There’s too much other stuff to shift on my own, need his little tractor.
 

Jellymoon

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I'm sure it will be fine but I would expect the gardener to ask where is the best place to put garden rubbish, not just dump it where he sees fit.
I’m hearing you! Put it this way, I am not expecting to be paying him to come back and move it tmr...However, my husband has broken his elbow and I’m not allowed to lose the gardener altogether!
 

Jellymoon

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Generally horses don't like the smell of poisonous things and I know yew smells quite strong so I wouldn't worry about them trying to eat it
I do think this is generally true, but I have heard they will have a go at yew, and they only need the tiniest bit to be in a really seriously bad way, so my concern is if they ingest small amounts while eating the grass. It’s not essential that they graze that area, it can be fenced off, but it’s quite handy in the winter and I’d be annoyed if they can’t ever go back on it.
 

Cowrie

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I agree on raking and fencing off for a good 6 months (also fanatical about poisonous plants!). The grass itself will be fine once the clippings are gone.
 

Jellymoon

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Oh, I’ll be on my hands and knees raking through the grass, every bit of it is deadly, don’t worry about that. And I prob won’t be letting them down there until next winter - I think it’s still lethal when it’s dead, prob worse as the strong smell goes.
 

Rowreach

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Does the gardener have one of those leaf blowers that also have a hoover setting? That should hopefully suck up the smaller bits
Either that or run over the area with a mower (with a collection bag on it obviously). We have to do this after weddings when the delightful guests smash glasses all over the lawn and the mower picks up all the tiny little bits of glass out of the grass.
 

onemoretime

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I would get a garden rake and rake the ground to make sure every bit is gone.

I am fanatical about these poison plants..My neighbours wife put rhododendron clippings over the hedge into their field.
I watched their donkey stallion die in total and utter agony.

Agree with this, yew us deadly and it only takes a small piece. Good idea with the garden rake and perhaps a mower.
 

Tiddlypom

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How infuriating and worrying.

Yew is deadly in very small quantities. The gardener should be well aware of this and should have consulted you on where to put the off cuts.

Rake off what you can, then multiple passes with a mower with a collection bag might do it, but really the ground is too wet at this time of year for that.
 

Cowrie

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Oh, I’ll be on my hands and knees raking through the grass, every bit of it is deadly, don’t worry about that. And I prob won’t be letting them down there until next winter - I think it’s still lethal when it’s dead, prob worse as the strong smell goes.
please wear gloves, alkaloids can be easily absorbed through the skin x

Additionally I would like to correct something I said upthread, a little research has found that yew gets more toxic having been dry a few months, so you'd need to keep your horses off the land for longer than the 6 months i suggested earlier, apologies.
 
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Jellymoon

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H
How infuriating and worrying.

Yew is deadly in very small quantities. The gardener should be well aware of this and should have consulted you on where to put the off cuts.

Rake off what you can, then multiple passes with a mower with a collection bag might do it, but really the ground is too wet at this time of year for that.
Honwwa
please wear gloves, alkaloids can be easily absorbed through the skin x

Additionally I would like to correct something I said upthread, a little research has found that yew gets more toxic having been dry a few months, so you'd need to keep your horses off the land for longer than the 6 months i suggested earlier, apologies.
yes, I had actually thought that, I haven’t managed to find out how long it needs to be dead for to toxicity. Did you find that anywhere?
 

spotty_pony

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Once it’s cleared and all the needles have been raked up I am sure it will be ok. I would maybe leave it for a few weeks to be sure though. I have a small Yew bush in the hedge which is fenced off along one of the fields and *touch wood* I have never had any trouble with it blowing into the field.
 

Nari

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To avoid upsetting the gardener, and more importantly husband, can you give him specific rubbish and compost areas?
 

Nasicus

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Might sound mad, but when the ground and grass has dried up, you could always run the hoover over it. Loooong extension cord needed, probably, but sod it, something to try? Ideally with a hoover with a bag, or maybe even a cheap handheld one you can chuck afterwards if you wanted to be extra safe?

But then, I am pretty extra when it comes to poisonous plants too, a youngster I used to own loved and still loves to try eating anything deadly, bitter and spiky :oops:
 
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