Care for yew shrubs by planting them in well-drained soil, watering them regularly and pruning them once a year. Yew shrubs can be grown through seed propagation or cuttings, but seeds take several years to germinate.
Before planting yew, add compost or manure to the soil to help young seedlings become well-established and grow quickly. If the soil tends to be dense or waterlogged, amend it with organic matter, or plant the shrubs shallowly in 1 inch of the topsoil. If planting yew in a container, make sure it contains drainage holes so the plant doesn't sit in water, which can cause root rot. Water the plant when the top layer of soil starts to dry out.
Trim yew shrubs to shape once a year in the summer by pruning back the branches 6 inches. This helps the shrub to branch out and form a dense surface. Snip off any leggy or scraggly limbs. Only heavily prune yews during the late winter while the plant is still dormant.
To hard-prune a neglected or overgrown yew shrub, cut the branches back to within 6 to 12 inches of the ground, and regularly prune back all but a few upright shoots for the leading branches.