Taxus baccata (Yew) Hedging

Taxus baccata (Yew) Hedging


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Yew (Taxus baccata) is a large, evergreen shrub with dense, linear, leathery leaves arranged in two rows on the shoots. The flowers are insignificant, but conspicuous, fleshy red berries appear on female plants in autumn, attracting birds.

Traditionally, yew was planted in churchyards to protect livestock from the poisonous seeds of these berries, while at the same encouraging the growth of a timber that was traditionally prized for making longbows, so effective during the Hundred Years' War in the Middle Ages. Now Yew's hard wood is prized for cabinet making. 

Yew looks handsome against a wall or along a terrace. Keep in a pot or plant directly in the ground. It is particularly useful for adding structure to an informal garden or parterre, for creating a dense, evergreen hedge, and as a winter interest plant. Yew adds depth to a mixed topiary or evergreen display and are a good, long-term alternative to Buxus (Box).


Choose from two sizes:

  • 60-80cm (2ft - 2.5ft)
  • 80-100cm (2.5ft - 3ft) 

Common Name: Yew, English Yew, Common Yew

Hardiness: Fully hardy to –20°

Height and Spread: 1200cm x 800cm, over 20–50 years (if not clipped)

Preferred Soil Type: Any well-drained soil; will tolerate dry soils and urban pollution

Aspect: Any aspect

Position: Sun, partial shade or full shade, in a sheltered or exposed position

Flowering Period: Spring

Care: Prune throughout the year

*Most parts, especially the seeds, are highly toxic by ingestion*