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Yew trees

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If you buy a yew, you will get a noble coniferous woody plant that has an abundance of talents. It is compatible with shade, tolerates almost every location and also enjoys strong root competition. In addition, a yew grows so dense that it provides excellent privacy and noise protection. Your joy of looking at this ornamental plant every day is another plus!

The evergreen, long-living yew (Taxus baccata) grows bushy or columnar-shaped – it is ideally suited for an individual position, as a shaped shrub or hedge plant. For centuries, local conifers have been an integral part of royal gardening – the most magnificent and ancient examples can often be admired in baroque gardens. The yew is also ideal for bed border, as it can be kept small if required thanks to its good tolerance to pruning. The velvety, dense needles of the yew also create a contrasting backdrop for colourful, flowering perennials and bulbs.

Buy Yew - The All-Round Conifer For Every Garden

Take a look at our large assortment of yews! There are so many colours and textures! Whether a shining, golden yellow, delicate green or elegant, black green – the Lubera online garden shop has them all. Here are some recommended varieties from our garden shop:

• The Common Yew is the classic hedge plant. Due to its excellent cutting compatibility, it is also highly recommended for small gardens.

• As a solitary plant or for small avenues, the green pillar yew is especially suitable.

• Dovaston's yew majestically stretches its branches and has overhanging shoot tips.

• A very frost-hardy garden yew with a slim, upright habit is the yew 'Hicksii'. The variety is a descendant of a cross between the European yew (Taxus baccata) and the Japanese yew (Taxus cuspidata).

 

   
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Common Yew

Taxus baccata

Instead of: £13.40 * From £11.90 *

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Dwarf yew

Taxus cuspidata Nana

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English Yew 'Dovastoniana'

Taxus baccata 'Dovastoniana'

Instead of: £37.40 * From £33.90 *

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English Yew 'Dovastonii Aurea'

Taxus baccata 'Dovastonii Aurea'

Instead of: £42.90 * From £38.40 *

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English Yew 'Fastigiata Aureomarginata'

Taxus baccata 'Fastigiata Aureomarginata'

Instead of: £16.40 * From £14.90 *

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English Yew 'Fastigiata Goldstar'

Taxus baccata 'Fastigiata Goldstar'

Instead of: £21.40 * From £19.40 *

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English Yew 'Fastigiata Sibirica'

Taxus baccata 'Fastigiata Sibirica'

Instead of: £16.40 * From £14.90 *

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English Yew 'Fips'

Taxus baccata 'Fips' grows small and spherical

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English Yew 'Golden Crown'

Taxus baccata 'Golden Crown'

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English Yew 'Golden Nugget'

Taxus baccata 'Golden Nugget'

From £13.40 *

English Yew 'Hessei'

Taxus baccata 'Hessei'

Instead of: £26.90 * From £24.40 *

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English Yew 'Hicksii'

Taxus media 'Hicksii'

Instead of: £10.90 * From £9.90 *

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Worth Knowing About Yews

With a height of up to 15 metres and a glossy green colour, yews are very attractive conifers. They are part of the Taxaceae family. If you buy an evergreen yew, it grows as a tree or shrub. In the entire northern hemisphere there are nine species of the genus Taxus. They usually have several short, upright trunks and an oval to roundish or irregularly shaped crown. Common yew or European yew (Taxus baccata) is the oldest and most shade-tolerant tree in Europe. In addition to the native yew and its various forms, the Japanese yew (Taxus cuspidata) is interesting for the garden. The latter has brighter, wider needles and lower growth than Taxus baccata.

The European yew has been native to the undergrowth of our forests for a long time, although unfortunately it is no longer so present in the wild. In Germany, Switzerland and Austria, it is protected because there are only a few wild stocks left. In the Middle Ages, yew trees were cut down extensively, as their hard, heavy wood was used in furniture construction and for making bows and crossbows.  But even the spread of the beeches about 2000 years ago already led to a displacement of the yews.

Yews can get very old. For example, the oldest tree in Germany is estimated at being 1,000 to 1,500 years old.

The trees have spirally arranged, slightly flexible needles, but no cones. A yew flowers between March and April. The male flowers are yellow in colour and stand catkin-like in the axils of the needle – the female only contains an ovule. Their fruits are actually mock berries. Characteristic are the fleshy, bright red, cup-like arils. Birds like to eat the red fruits despite their toxicity, see below.

Soil and Location

Regarding the soil a yew makes little demands, but waterlogging should be avoided. Yews prefer calcareous, somewhat loamier soils, but also thrive in light and slightly acidic, humus, sandy soils. Strongly acidic moorland should be improved before planting.

Yews like a semi-shady to shady location rather than full sun in the garden. They tolerate a dry climate, but prefer humid locations. Yews are deep rooters, but also permeate the upper soil layers of their environment with their fine roots. Woody plants like witch hazel or flower dogwood are therefore not the best neighbours, as they cannot assert themselves well in this growing community.

Care and Fertilisation

If you buy a yew, it will need almost no care. For fertilisation, a special conifer fertiliser can be used. Overall, the fertilisation should be moderate. In a sandy location, a yew is also thankful for occasional compost or a mulch layer on the planting disk.

Since yews are evergreen, they often suffer in harsh, snow-poor winters due to the winter sun and dehydrating winds. Then there is a risk of dehydration as the plant boosts its metabolism and thereby can draw little water from the ground. For this reason, you should also occasionally water in the winter (on frost-free days) and possibly place shade netting over the plant. Even with very long periods of drought, you should water every now and then.

Pruning Yews

The yew is very tolerant to pruning. It is guaranteed to grow again, even if it is cut back severely. Especially in the case of old hedges that have become unshapely, a radical cut can easily be made.

In general, yew hedges and woody shrubs usually have one shaping cut per year. It makes sense to choose the early spring for this before the fresh needles appear. You should even remove individual frozen shoots after very cold winters. If you prune in the spring, even a bird nest inside the shrub is not threatened. If required, a hedge trimmer can be used for a second time at the end of June. This is when a second bud break will take place around the St. John's Day. After mid/end of August you should cut as soon as possible, so that the trees can mature until the frost.

Note: The Yew Is Very Poisonous

When buying a yew, you should be aware that the yew's needles, wood and seeds are poisonous. It contains the poison taxine, an alkaloid. Although the pulp is non-toxic, taxine is abundant in the seeds within it. It emerges when chewing on the kernels. If you have children in your home, you should therefore avoid planting Taxus baccata in the garden for safety's sake. Even the consumption of fewer needles or seeds can produce severe symptoms of intoxication. With livestock, there are always cases of deadly poisoning if for example the yew leaves just lie in the pasture after the hedge has been trimmed.

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