English or Irish Yew
Used widely as a hedging plant, Taxus baccata Fastigiata is the upright form of the English or Irish Yew. With an natural columnar growth habit it will reach around 3m in height with a 1m spread in around 10 years.
Over time if left unpruned the plant will broaden in growth habit although still upright it will spread to 2m + near the crown.
The Irish Yew, is popular because it takes so well to shaping and pruning. It differs from the English Yew mostly in terms of its upright habit. Slow growing but with very strong wood.
A well drained humus rich soil and a position in full sun to part shade. Flat dark green leaves the male plants will produce cones while the female plants produce red berries which are poisonous.
This is a long lived tree and found in many historical sites including old family homes, around public buildings and in smaller villages around churches, village greens and other areas.
The timber is widely used and was a favourite for making long bows. This is one of the three Yes that are native to the UK.
Propagation is generally from cuttings.
Taxus baccata Varieties
- Taxus baccata ‘Aureomarginata’ – New growth tends towards golden before turning to green
- Taxus baccata ‘Aurea’ – Foliage tends towards a more
- Taxus baccata ‘Nana’ – A naturally smaller growing variety that is easy pruned.
- Taxus baccata ‘Fastigiata’ – An even more upright form
The most widely used in landscaping where the upright growth habit lends it to be used as a screening plant in narrow spaces.
Can be grown in containers next to entries to create a formal look. Growth rate is regarded as slow, especially when first planted. Growth does improve after 2 – 3 years.
- Best grown in a humus rich fertile soil
- Mulch around plants to maintain moisture
- Frost hardy
- Full sun to part shade
- Botanical Name – Taxus baccata
- Family – taxaceae
- Common Name – English Yew
- Origins – Europe through to Algeria
- Soil – Well drained
- Position – Full sun
- Climate – Avoid hot dry conditions.
- Height – To around 15m
- Spread – To around 3m
- Growth rate – Slow to medium
- Foliage – Deep green to mis green depending on variety.
- Other features – red berries follow the flowers.
- Frost tolerant – Yes