Plant Guide > Trees > Yews > Pacific Yew Tree

Pacific Yew Tree

Pacific Yew TreeThe Pacific Yew (Taxus brevifolia, Nutt.)-A tree with broad head, of long, horizontal, pendulous limbs, and trunk irregularly lobed and flattened. Bark thin, covered with purplish scales. Wood heavy, hard, strong, red. Leaves short, linear, 2-ranked, pale beneath, yellowish. Flowers dioecious, minute, in leaf axils. Fruit a translucent, scarlet berry. Preferred habitat, ravines and stream banks. Distribution, mountains of coast, from Alaska to southern California, east to Montana. Uses: Wood for posts, paddles and bows.

The cheerful green of its foliage relieves this yew of any funereal suggestion. It is a beautiful, if rarely a symmetrical evergreen tree, surprising tourists and delighting the birds with its brilliant berries in autumn. The Indian of Alaska cuts spear shafts, bows, paddles and other articles out of its wood. The settler uses it for fencing.