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Yew Conifer Trees | Taxus

There are eight official species of Yew conifers, which have given way to hundreds of cultivars found across the Northern hemisphere. Yew trees are unusual, as they are one of only two species of conifer (the other being Junipers) that produce berry-like fruits rather than bearing cones.

Attractive features of Yew trees

Our selection of ornamental Yew trees all have a fastigiated or upright growth habit, and boast dense and glossy needle-like foliage all year round, making them the perfect embellishment for pathways and borders or as pillars outside your front door. With their columnar form and slow growing nature, Yew trees are an ideal option for small gardens or landscaped areas, as well as being suitable candidates for being grown in a pot or planter.

We have green (Irish Yew) and gold (Golden Irish Yew) options and also a variety called Taxus standishii which has bright golden foliage all year round (whereas the Golden Irish Yew foliage is dark green at the centre of the plant becoming golden at the tips).

Please be aware that the berries are toxic - they look attractive on the plant and when they fall onto the ground so please be very careful with inquisitive children (or pets).

Planting Yew Trees

Yew is a very versatile species and will grow in virtually any position including fully shaded areas, although the foliage on the golden varieties will be more vibrant if exposed to sunlight. Yew tolerates all soil types including chalk, but doesn't like badly draining soil or being overwatered (though you will need to water in dry spells until established). These trees are also very good in cold areas.  Yew can tolerate hard pruning if required (to restore shape or to keep height down) and will successfully regenerate from old wood.

Interesting facts about Yew trees

  • Yew trees have long been associated with churchyards. There are at least 500 churchyards in England which contain Yew trees older than the buildings themselves
  • The leaves of Yew trees are used in the production of Taxol, a drug thought to prevent the growth of cancer cells
  • The oldest known wooden implement found in Britain, is a spear made of Yew wood, and is thought to be 50,000 years old - found in Clacton on Sea
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