We have a large healthy yew that the previous owner pruned into a big oval bun shape. I?d like it to grow up like a normal tree instead of maintaining this odd form. How can I do this?

?Carolyn Haddock, Dartmouth, NS

Fortunately, yew is one conifer that can take drastic pruning as it will sprout from old wood. Cut it right back to within several inches of its main frame. Get a professional to do this if you can?t bear to do it yourself. It will look super-naked for a while but the new stems will be encouraged to grow in a more natural shape. The best time to do this is before new pale green growth starts in spring. Give it lots of TLC (compost and water) and it should bounce back beautifully.

?Marjorie Harris, Editor at Large