Taxus baccata

Experience the garden with Yew!

Who hasn’t heard of Taxus? It is also knows als Common Yew. This plant’s many uses make it very popular. It is particularly suitable for tight hedges, and because of its good tolerance of pruning it is very durable. Not only hedges, but also various other forms can be made from yews. For this reason, we have decides to grant the title “Plant-of-the-World” to this wonderful plant.

Taxus is grown from seed. For this reason, there is always some variation between the individual plants. This will give the hedge
a marbled effect. Especially when the plants sprout again in the summer, there are beautiful color shades arise. Would you feel
uncomfortable, then another Taxus species, such as Taxus media Hicksii, can be chosen.

The best time of year to prune Yew is summer, the best on a cloudy day so the plant does not burn. In order to get a good dense hedge, it is important to cut young plants narrower than the final desired thickness. Due to the branching on the ends of the cut twigs the hedge will become very tight. If the hedge is become ugly or too wide, don’t worry: you can cut the plants back to the brown wood. After two years, you have again a beautiful hedge. Do this preferably in the winter.

Many plant artists have already made use of Taxus to cut the most special shapes and figures. In England it is called topiary. Especially in Palace Gardens (Versailles) and around castles beautifully landscaped parks are found. A common form is called ponpon. This is a plant in which spheres are formed all over the plant. Sometimes realistic figures are made or austere shapes like cones, pyramids and cubes. To get good figures in model wire mesh forms are placed over the young plants and branches are directed to the right places. The mesh is then the pruning threshold.

Anticancer drug
With the exception of the pulp of the berry, which tastes very sweet, all parts of yews are toxic. Watch out with cattle. therefore Do not plant yew on the edge of a meadow where animals can run. Although toxic is from the foliage the known drug Taxol made that is widely used against cancer.

Wood use
The wood of the yew is very strong and flexible. They say it is the best wood to make bows. At the Battle of Agincourt (1415) used the English yew bows. Therefore had their arrows a much greater range. It is one of the reasons why they could win the battle against the French. Are you interested in a bow of Yew? Look at: The wood is also used in marquetry. For lathe work the fine wood is very suitable.

Taxus baccata - Experience the garden with Yew!

Yew is not demanding but does not like wet feet. Therefore make sure that you put the plants in well drained soil. To keep the plants healthy and vital regular fertilization is desired. Twice a year conifers fertilizer
or cow manure is sufficient. Note vine weevils and scale insects.
In a normal situation, these garden pests are rarely problematic; nature cleans much on! Should it be a problem, then there are in the garden center (biological) resources available to combat these insects.