Dead spots in yews

"My mature yews have dead spots in them. I was told to cut out the dead spots and fertilize, which I did, but there are new spots. The garden center told me they are hearing a lot of this this year but have no idea what it causing it. Any ideas?"
Submitted by BHGPhotoContest

It sounds like you might have a fungal disease.  Yews (Taxus species) are susceptable to several fungal diseases diseases, especially in wet, heavy clay soils. Your local university extenion service may be able to diagnose the disease if you give them plant tissue to work with. Regardless of the diagnosis, the treatment for fungal diseases will be similar. Remove dead or dying plants, improve soil drainage, apply ammonium sulfate to alkaline soils to lower the pH.

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