Columnar Yew

The Columnar English Yew is the perfect tree to create a dramatic year-round accent in shade or sun. It always looks rich and full, and always deep green. It grows tall and slim, and it stays dense and neat throughout its life. Grow it as an accent in shady beds, as a pair to frame a door or entrance, or as a narrow hedge in a confined space. For a very formal look it is easy to trim, but even untrimmed it will look perfect. It grows well in zones 6, 7 and 8. For colder areas choose Hicks Yew, a hardier hybrid plant, or forms of the Japanese yew.

  • Perfect upright column of green with no clipping needed
  • Very shade-tolerant and reliable in difficult spots
  • Grows to 10 feet in 10 years, and ultimately taller
  • Deep-green foliage is always attractive
  • Trouble-free, easy to grow, and long-lived

The Columnar English Yew grows well in almost any kind of soil, except for wet soils with poor drainage. Once established it is moderately drought resistant, but watering during long dry periods is recommended. It normally has no pest or disease problems, and it grows steadily as much as 12 inches a year. This tree has a very long life, becoming more beautiful and handsome as time passes. It needs no maintenance to always look perfect. Every garden needs vertical accents to complete the picture, and this is a top choice for almost any location.

The Columnar English Yew is the perfect tree to create a dramatic year-round accent in shade or sun. It always looks rich and full, and always deep green. It grows tall and slim, and it stays dense and neat throughout its life. Grow it as an accent in shady beds, as a pair to frame a door or entrance, or as a narrow hedge in a confined space. For a very formal look it is easy to trim, but even untrimmed it will look perfect. It grows well in zones 6, 7 and 8. For colder areas choose Hicks Yew, a hardier hybrid plant, or forms of the Japanese yew.

  • Perfect upright column of green with no clipping needed
  • Very shade-tolerant and reliable in difficult spots
  • Grows to 10 feet in 10 years, and ultimately taller
  • Deep-green foliage is always attractive
  • Trouble-free, easy to grow, and long-lived

The Columnar English Yew grows well in almost any kind of soil, except for wet soils with poor drainage. Once established it is moderately drought resistant, but watering during long dry periods is recommended. It normally has no pest or disease problems, and it grows steadily as much as 12 inches a year. This tree has a very long life, becoming more beautiful and handsome as time passes. It needs no maintenance to always look perfect. Every garden needs vertical accents to complete the picture, and this is a top choice for almost any location.

Bold, evergreen plants with a strong upright habit make great additions to any garden. These green columns make perfect accents, or frame doorways and openings, as well as giving a feeling of permanence and stability to your garden. Sometimes you can achieve this with fast-growing plants by regularly trimming them, but a better long-term strategy is to use plants that are naturally dense and upright, and that form perfect columns without the need for regular trimming. This low-maintenance approach means a lot less work in the garden, and a lot more time to simply relax and enjoy it. For the perfect dark-green column, look no further than the Columnar English Yew. This classic tree has a long history, and it can be seen in some of the most famous gardens in the world, as well as in ordinary gardens everywhere. It is tolerant of almost all light conditions, from sun to shade, and grows well in any well-drained soil.

Growing Columnar English Yew Trees

The Columnar English Yew grows steadily into a narrow, upright bush with such tight foliage that clipping is strictly optional. In normal garden conditions it will add 6 to 12 inches of growth each year, so that in 10 years it can be as much as 10 feet tall, yet it will only be about 2 feet wide, with a columnar form, rather than a tapering narrow conical form. That is, the top will be approximately the same width as the base. Older trees grow more slowly, but in time this tree can become 30 feet tall, and still be only 3 or 4 feet wide. The leaves are soft, and narrow, about 1 ½ inches long, and tightly packed around the stems. Older trees will often produce a large crop of bright red fleshy berries in fall, about ½ an inch across. The flesh is sweet and tasty, but the seeds are poisonous if crushed, so avoid eating them, and teach children to leave them alone. The leaves are also poisonous and should be kept away from horses and cattle.

Uses on Your Property

The Columnar English Yew is perfect as a specimen plant in a lawn or paved area, especially in smaller spaces. It brings height and permanence, while taking up very little width, and it will never grow too large. Unlike many other upright evergreens that can become fat, this tree remains slim and upright forever. Plant a pair to frame an entrance, such as a doorway or garden gate. Place specimens alone, or in groups of 3 or 5, as accents in your beds or in the background of lower plantings. For a narrow hedge in a tight location, this is an excellent choice. Plant trees no more than 2 feet apart, and they can be clipped into a beautiful and very dense hedge over time.

Planting and Initial Care

The Columnar English Yew will grow well in full sun in cooler regions, but like other yew trees it is best used in partially-shaded areas where the choice of trees is much more limited. Yew is an excellent choice for shade, keeping its strong green color and dense growth in all but the shadiest locations. It grows well in zone 6 and in warmer zones too, at least into zone 8. In colder zones, choose the Japanese yew and its varieties, or a hybrid yew, such as Hicks Yew (Taxus x media ‘Hicksii’). These are all hardy in zone 5, and often in zone 4 as well.

Grow the Columnar English Yew in moist, well-drained soil. Although it is a reliable and easy tree to grow, it does not like to be grow in places where the soil is often saturated, so good-drainage is essential. Once established it has moderate drought-resistance to ordinary periods of dryness. Pests and diseases are very rare, and this is a reliable and easily-grown plant that needs no attention once it is established.