Yew Trees

Taxus baccata


The Yew Tree is revered as a sacred tree, the English Yew has fern-like dark evergreen leaves. It makes an impressive and magical specimen tree in large gardens and parks. Famous for topiary, it is easily clipped to any shape. Fully hardy, they will happily grow in sun or shade in well drained soil.


Botanical name

Taxus baccata

Ultimate height and spread

25 metres x 15 metres


Full Sun, Shade


The tree of Eternity

Plant a tree to remember those who died in the War of Wars.

2018 marks the 100th anniversary of the First World War.

A war of useless slaughter and appalling suffering of the young and brave.

On the 11th November 1918 the guns ceased firing and the world grew still although the horror and destruction of life and values remain with us to this day. And still we go to war!

To remember them we have chosen the Yew tree, the Symbolism of Resurrection, to plant to commemorate those that lost their lives and those whose lives were changed forever by the outbreak of war on August 4th 1914.

The evergreen Yew is a tree of extreme longevity and was revered as a sacred tree. The ancient custom of mourners putting sprigs of Yew into the graves of the departed showed that they believed death was not the end but a passing through into the continuance of life to come.

Yew trees are able to live for thousands of years, due to its ability of perpetual growth. It shows that the source of life is continually renews itself. Hence the planting of Yew to remember those who lived and died for their country.

Yews provide food and shelter for many birds and other wildlife. They are under threat and many magnificent old Yews have been chopped down for no other reason than the dreaded ‘Health and Safety’.

Please plant a Yew to honour and remember our War Dead for year to come.

For every tree ordered, Trees Direct will give a donation to the Royal British Legion.


In Flanders Field


In Flanders’ fields the poppies blow

Between the crosses, row by row,

That mark our place: and in the sky

The larks, still bravely singing fly

Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the dead. Short days ago

We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,

Loved and were loved, and now we lie

In Flanders fields


Take up our quarrel with the foe;

To you from failing hands we throw

The torch; be yours to hold it high,

If ye break faith with us who die

We shall not sleep, though the poppies grow

In Flanders fields.


The English Yew, Taxus baccata, is steeped in history and revered for its medicinal and magical qualities. Long lived, up to 2000 year or more, it will certainly be a lasting memorial to someone or something we love!

Broadly conical, later domed head, the Yew is a slow growing (worth the wait) evergreen with fern-like leaves on horizontal branches. Bright red berries feed the birds and wildlife throughout the winter months and its deep thick habit provides a safe warm haven for lots of birds.

It makes an impressive and magical specimen tree in large gardens and parks. Famous for topiary, it is easily clipped to any shape. Growing happily in sun or shade, Yews are fully hardy, will tolerate most soils and situations, including chalk and shade but good drainage is essential. Although slow growing they make the most marvelous, elegant hedges, protective from the wind, humans and other animals. These days they can be bought bare rooted or rootballed, establishing a hedge in no time.
The wonderful Yew in our garden is a source of great delight as we watch the variety of small birds popping in and out of the magical tree. A marvellous home with its own food supply for birds.

Common Name: English Yew
Latin Name: Taxus baccata
Soil: Tolerant of most soil
Habit: Broadly conical, later domed
Position: Sun or shade
Flowering period: Spring
Colour: Red berries
Hardiness: Fully hardy
Eventual Height/Spread: 25m x 15m / 80ft x 50ft
Special features: Evergreen needle like leaves and horizontal branches

Symbolism, Folklore & Old Wives Tales The Tree of Knowledge and revered by the Druids and then the Christians, Yews have come to Symbolize Resurrection. It is very unlucky to chop down a Yew and considering how long it takes to grow, it would indicate a vandal, a person of little sensibility. And did you know the bows used at Agincourt to win the war against the French were made from the English Yew.


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