Yew is an evergreen with needle-like leaves. It’s a popular garden plant for topiary and as a hedge plant and provides structure, especially in winter. Its male and female flowers are produced on different trees with female flowers developing into interesting berry-like fruits. The seeds are enclosed in a red, fleshy, berry-like structure known as an aril which is open at the tip.
Estimate full grown height: 20 metres, but its height can be controlled by pruning. Yew trees grow an estimated 20-40cm each year.
Please note: The foliage and seed coat of yew contains highly toxic alkaloids. The aril (fleshy red part) is not toxic.
Value to wildlife: Yew fruits are an important food source for birds as well as mammals like dormice. It’s a food plant of caterpillars of the satin beauty moth, which is more common in southern parts of England and Wales.
Preferred soil type or environmental conditions: Tolerant to shade and severe weather so it is a good plant to fill areas of the garden where other species may not flourish.
UK sourced and grown: Every sapling that we provide is UK sourced and grown to minimise the risk of importing and spreading tree pests and diseases. Seeds are collected and stored in the UK, and they are all coded and batched so that we can track each individual tree.
Learn more about this species on our yew profile.