What Type of Yew Is This?

My neighbor has a yew in her front yard that is unlike any other yew I have seen anywhere in my area (Southern Ontario, Canada). It was planted by the previous owner of the property, so the current owner doesn’t know it’s provenence.

Does anyone have any ideas what variety it might be?


Hard to tell from that distance, but definitely looks like a yew

It definitely a yew. I’ve collected berries off it and tried planting them, but no luck so far. The reason I asked about it’s type, is that I’ve never seen another yew like it. All the yews you see in garden centers do not have that upright sparse shape.

It doesn’t grow very fast. It’s been there for over 30 years and is still only about 6-7 ft tall and 3-4 wide.

It’s in my neighbors yard and was planted shortly after we moved into our house in 1980. The neighbor then was Chinese-Trinidadian, so I was wondering if it is some type Asian yew.


Recommend the “picture this” app. Take a picture of the foliage and see what it comes up with.

Is it an old fastigiata? Irish yew. Growth is upwards.

It looks like european yew to me because of the short and compact foliage. It’s definitely a beautiful landscape shrub.

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It looks like taxus baccata fastigiata commonly known as Irish yew. The unique identifier of this form of taxus is the bundle of upright stems rather than the single trunk of all other yews. It prefers partial shade which produces very beautiful dark glossy leaves. This one has rather yellow foliage since it has been planted in full sun in what looks to me like a very dry hot place. I am from Scotland where this tree is very much at home. It is a unique sport of taxus and does not run true from seed but is propagated from cuttings.

I think Blown55 and At01Dcdf1 are right, that it is an Irish Yew. I’ve been doing research on Yews, and the fastigiata is the only one that seems to come close to this tree. It is in a very sunny area, and the only water it gets is rain since my neighbor doesn’t do any supplementary watering. I am going to take some cuttings from it next spring and see if I can get them to take.

Thanks for the replies. :smile:

The best time to take hardwood cuttings is now (late Fall to late Winter). Hardwood cuttings will root after the second year and give better results than softwood cuttings taken in Spring.

Insert cuttings into deep containers of gritty potting medium such as 50:50 coarse grit and multi-purpose compost. Keep the pots in a sheltered cold frame or unheated greenhouse until the following autumn, ensuring that they do not dry out.