- Suitable as an evergreen tree, hedge plant or woodland shrub
- Shade tolerant
- Toxic to browsing animals
- Britain's longest living native tree (by far)
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The specifications shown below are our normal range but we often have additional options. If there is something that you are looking for, it's often worth contacting us.
|Product Options||Height||Age||Root Type||Specification||1+||100+||500+||Quantity Qty|
|30-40cm||4 yr||Bare Root||2+2 transplant||£3.60 (ex. VAT)||£3.30 (ex. VAT)||£3.00 (ex. VAT)||
|10-20cm||2 yr||Cell grown||cell grown||£2.00 (ex. VAT)||£1.90 (ex. VAT)||£1.80 (ex. VAT)||
|20-30cm||3 yr||Bare Root||2+1 transplant||£3.20 (ex. VAT)||£3.00 (ex. VAT)||£2.70 (ex. VAT)||
We have Taxus baccata bare roots in several sizes and specifications. They begin life as hardwood cuttings. They can be grown from seed but that doesnt give a good quality plant and makes them random in colour and shape whereas cutting grown plants have similarities which is important in what is primarily a hedging plant.
After the cuttings have been taken from top quality mother plants, they are planted out into open fields (at which point they are called transplants) and after 3 or 4 years, they are ready to be sold. This length of time to grow into saleable plants contrasts with many of the seed grown species we offer which are ready in just one or two years and it is the additional maintenance and care over several years that Taxus baccata plants need that accounts for the extra cost. In addition to taking longer to grow, the spacing in the fields is generous to give them enough nutrients and water to grow bushy. Most evergreen plants do not grow well as bare roots but Yew bare roots are an exception (along with Box, Cherry Laurel and Privet) and using bare roots is a fantastic way to get a superb evergreen hedge at the lowest possible cost, much cheaper than root balls or pots and already used to growing outdoors, all year round, in open fields with all that the UK weather throws at us.
In addition to the transplants we offer, we have cell grown Taxus baccata plants which are grown by one of the UK's best specialist growers. These are ideal for woodland creation or amenity planting as well as domestic hedging, and these plants are available all year round.
You can read more about the specifications we offer on the tab just below the pricing table - to the right of this product description.
Taxus baccata is one of the very few native evergreen species suitable for woodlands and urban planting as either a tree, shrub or hedge – Holly is the other native evergreen species. Taxus baccata can be pruned to a very sharp formal shape and as a relatively slow grower only needs to be trimmed once a year, or it can be allowed to grow as a natural shrub shape, allowed to grow as a conical shaped tree with a clear stem or it can be pruned into a soft but formal shape (cloud pruning). Often called the King of Hedging it’s the most expensive hedging plant you can buy but bought bare root it becomes much more economical. It is native to the north of the UK and Scandinavia and is very hardy so suitable for all regions of the UK.
Taxus baccata plants do not like to stand in water so needs a well drained situation although occasional flooding can be tolerated and heavy clay soils are ideal. It will grow very well in shade as well as sun. It does need some moisture to get established so is not suitable for a very dry site.
The leaves are dark green conifer needles. It does have flowers but they are inconspicuous. Male flowers are small, yellow and shed pollen early in the year. Female flowers develop into red berry-like fruit known as an aril, and although poisonous to browsing animals (as are the leaves), they are eaten by wildlife when ripe.
Its wood, needles, bark and seeds are highly poisonous and yet taxol, the substances which makes them toxic, has been found to have beneficial effect in human cancer treatment. The flesh of the red aril is edible but all other parts are highly toxic (probably better not to try eating any part of it!) although deer seem to be tolerant of the needles and birds can eat the seeds and thrushes in particular are very partial to the fleshy part of the seed.
The longbows of Robin Hood's time used both heartwood and sapwood for the maximum combination of tensile strength and flexibility. Yew wood is very hard and long lasting. Because it is so dense, it sinks in water so it was never used in ship/boat building and also it has not been used as a building timber because each trunk is actually numerous shoots - but it is useful for stakes, fenceposts and gateposts, though great care must be taken when working with the wood due to its toxicity.
Taxus baccata is a very long living species and eventually would grow to a height of 20m. It has a reputation of being a slow grower but actually it grows by about 30cm pa (as long as you leave the central leader in place) if planted in full sun. Yew trees are the longest living native tree species in Europe and can live up to 3000 years. They are difficult to date because they do not produce a growth ring every year and all old yews are hollow in any event. There is one at Perth and Kinross which is thought to be at least 2000 years old.
Taxus baccata can be coppiced which is unusual for a conifer.
This section gives definitions on the specifications of plants that we sell. We are specialists in field grown (or bare root) plants which are grown in two ways. The majority are grown from seed, some are ready within one growing season (seedlings or 1+0's) and some species require two growing seasons (1u1's). In addition to growing from seed we also grow from small plants or cuttings (transplants) which are much more widely spaced (taking more land, more irrigation water, fertilisers and labour). There are only a handful of bare root wholesale nurseries in the UK and of those even fewer grow transplants but Ray Jenkins has many years' experience of transplanting so we grow these in large volumes. Ray has written this blog about the benefits of bare root plants and how they are grown and another blog which gives further detail on bare root specifications.
The detailed specifications are shown below. If you are in doubt about what specification to use please email us on firstname.lastname@example.org with a description of the project (and photos if appropriate) and we will advise you.
1+0 - field grown in one season from seed, known as a seedling (sometimes called a whip), generally a slender single stem plant. These are the cheapest specification and are particularly suitable for planting where weed competition will be less intense, soil is shallow or on exposed windy sites. Gives a high root to shoot ratio and minimal plant "check".
2+0 - a 2 year seedling, field grown from seed in the same seed bed in two growing seasons where the species cannot be grown to a saleable plant from seed in one season
1U1 - 2 year old plant called an undercut, field grown for two seasons in the same seed bed and undercut by machine (a sharp blade cutting the roots under the soil level) after the first year to develop the root structure. We do this with several species which take 2 years to develop (eg oak, beech, hornbeam)
1+1 - 2 year old plant (transplant) grown from seed in the first year and then transplanted into a different area of the field and spaced out for the second growing season - a robust plant with a larger and more robust root system than seedling or undercut plant which will enable it to better withstand drought and weed competition. Often the best choice and the staple norm for farm hedging and this specification is a requirement of the Countryside Stewardship Grant
1+2- a 3 year old plant, two years field growing in the seedbed and then transplanted (and spaced out) for a further two growing seasons giving a tall, stocky, bushy plant
2+1- a 3 year old plant, two years field growing in the seedbed and then transplanted (and spaced out) for a further growing season, giving a strong bushy plant
3+1 - as above but field grown for a further growing season for more height and a very bushy plant
1+3- 4 year old, one year field growing in the seed beds and then transplanted (and spaced out) for three years, giving a very strong, bushy plant
2+2- 4 year old, two years field growing in the seed beds and then transplanted (and spaced out) for a further two years - a very mature plant suited to certain species like beech and hornbeam where we can offer almost instant hedging
and some that are a bit different.....
P9 - a plant grown in a greenhouse or polytunnel in a 9cm pot (for holly which germinates poorly in the field)
Cell grown - a plant grown in small deep cells (like a small yogurt pot) and then lifted out of those for transportation. Commonly used in forestry and large hedging projects. Very high quality plants with excellent success rate. See our blog on the benefits of cell grown plants.
C+1 or C+2 - a 3 or 4 year old plant initally started as hardwood cuttings grown on for a year as cell grown plants and then lined out in fields to grow on for a further 1 or 2 years (a technique used for Cherry Laurel)