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Taxus baccata AGM

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© RHS 1999

Characteristics

Plant type

Tree or Conifer

Habit

Bushy

Origin

Native to the UK

Toxicity

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

Resilience

Hardiness

H6 (hardy - very cold winter)

Colour

Flower

Yellow in Spring

Foliage

Dark Green in Autumn, Spring, Summer and Winter

Fruit

Red in Autumn

Size

Ultimate height

Higher than 12 metres

Ultimate spread

wider than 8 metres

Time to ultimate height

20-50 years


Preferred common name

common yew

Family

Taxaceae


Taxus are small evergreen trees or large shrubs of rounded habit, with dense, linear leaves, insignificant flowers and, on female plants, conspicuous fleshy red arils surrounding the solitary seeds

T. baccata is a medium-sized bushy evergreen tree with narrow, leathery, very dark green leaves arranged in two rows on the shoots, and insignificant flowers followed on female plants by fleshy red fruits

Other common names

  • English yew
  • yew

How to grow

Sunlight

  • Full sun
  • Part shade
  • Full shade

Aspect

  • South-facing, North-facing, West-facing or East-facing
  • Exposed or Sheltered

Cultivation

Grow in any well-drained soil. Will tolerate exposure, dry soils and urban pollution. Good specimen plant for topiary and hedging

Soil

  • Well-drained
  • Acid, Alkaline or Neutral
  • Chalk, Clay, Sand or Loam

Propagation

Propagate by seed or semi-hardwood cuttings

Suggested planting locations and garden types

Hedging/Screens or Low Maintenance


How to care

Pruning

No regular pruning necessary, but can be trimmed and shaped when required

Pests

May be attacked by tortrix moth, vine weevil, gall mites and scale insects

Diseases

May be subject to phytophthora root diseases