Grown in gardens for centuries and steeped in myth and legend, the deep black-green leaves of Taxus baccata give this alluring tree an air of mystery.
Growing to a medium sized bushy evergreen tree, the foliage of English Yew provides a perfect dark backdrop to bring out the best in other garden plants. It is very tolerant of pruning, making it an excellent choice for topiary and hedging. Known as one of the longest living plants in Europe and said to live for hundreds of years, there are several examples in the UK thought to have been planted in the 10th century. The incredibly dense foliage is especially valuable for wildlife, offering protection and nesting opportunities for many birds. Female plants bear rich red berries from late spring, eaten by many birds who enjoy the berries from one of the UK's few native conifer trees. Broadly cone shaped, Taxus baccata is tolerant of many soil conditions and is also know to be a good absorber of pollution particles making it particularly useful in urban environments.
A long lived native tree and important home to wildlife, that can be shaped and clipped with needle like leaves a year-round feature.
Plant Type: Conifer
Hardiness: H7 Very Hardy. Minimum temperature < -20
Plant Height & Spread (at maturity): H 20m x W 10m (Mature age: 50 years)
Foliage Colour: Green
Flower Colour: Yellow
Fragrant Flower: No
Aromatic Foliage: No
RHS Award of Garden Merit: Yes
RHS Perfect for Pollinators: No
Foliage Type: Evergreen
Hazardous / Poisonous Information: Toxic if eaten
Soil Type: Acid, Alkaline, Chalky, Clay, Loam, Sandy
Soil Drainage: Well Drained
Light Exposure: Full Sun, Full Shade
Planting Style: Gravel & Drought Resistant Garden, Border Edging, Banks & Slopes, Hedging & Screening.
Season of Interest: Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter
Flowering (from - to): March-May
Taxus baccata is a robust grower and will perform well in most soils that have good drainage, including those that are dry and chalky. It will tolerate exposed positions and is suitable for any aspect making it an extremely versatile plant.
Yew requires little watering and feeding other than to help establishment in the first year. This native conifer also needs no regular pruning, although, it will regrow if cut hard back and is tolerant of pruning to shape as required.
Yew makes an excellent subject for shaping and trimming into neat hedges and topiary and its slow growth rate means only one cut per year is required in some areas, depending on the growing conditions.