Taxus Baccata

Description: The common Yew is well known for its wide range of uses as noted below.  the dark evergreen leaves are like flat needles arranged flat on each side of the stem. 

Uses: If left untouched will produce a large evergreen speading tree.  Often also grown as a hedge which can be kept at 1 metre or up to 5 metres creating a dark dense hedgeline.  Good also for use as a specimen topiary plant which can be shaped into cones, balls or various other trimmed shapes.

Climate/Position: Any position suited including sun and deeper shade.

Height/Spread: Can be kept to 2 metres or left to reach 20 metres over a very long period.

Soil Requirements: Tolerant of most soils except heavy wet conditions so ensure area is well dug and any deep 'pan' or hard base to the planting hole is relieved.

Pruning: Can be left unpruned if a tree is required.  Otherwise, annual pruning in late summer and again in late spring for a fine finish. If planting as a hedge then leave unpruned until the height of the required hedge is reached and then start the pruning to the required shape. Old plants of Taxus respond incredibly well to very hard pruning and even ancient plants can be regenerated. 

Special Requirements: Can be purchased in pots or through the winter months is available as a root balled plant.  The difference is that the plant has been grown in the field and lifted with field soil.  It is often thought that this enables better establishment as the roots are not moving from compost to soil.  Rootballed plants provide good value for mature plants.

Additional Interest: The dark everygreen conifer is noted as having the oldest plant examples in the UK and is mostly associated with old Churchyards.