Staining yew yes or no

I have a yew that I have just finished carving some jins and shrai should I stain?

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Do you mean using lime sulphur? If so then yes. It will help to protect the wood during the winter.

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No i was thinking more on the lines of black Kairi Simi ink. The reason I’m asking is in the arboriculture field when we make a cut to remove a branch on a Yew that area will eventually turn black. Is it going to be a up hill battle applying lime sulfur to maintain the white appearance. And is it not what the plants natural appearance should look like to be black instead of white?

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I think it comes down to what climate you wish to portray. Most deadwood will turn gray to black in a forest environment where it is moist and does not see extreme sunlight. However, in the mountains, most will turn white to gray-white due to the strong sunlight and lack of moisture. I believe this applies to just about any species, although some won’t grow in one environment or the other.

A number of people in the UK stain the hollows in yew deadwood with a dark stain. It needs to be done very carefully to avoid a ‘hand of man’ look.

Harry Harrington talks about darkening the interior and lightening the exterior to create more depth and shadow play.

Marty is right, what environment are you portraying? I always like to consider whether my tree represents one in the near view - in which case the dead wood appears darker - whereas if it represents one in the distant view the deadwood always appears lighter and often white. When it comes to deciduous it is best to make it look darker as it’s more natural (but more often in real life the wood is actually rotting).