Irish yew plants (Taxus Fastigiata)
Irish yew is an beautiful evergreen conifer, distinct from English yew due to its very narrow growth habit with upright branches, almost parallel with the central trunk. It has dense, spirally arranged leaves, well suited for providing year round colour, structure and texture at the back of borders, while acting as a foil to showier flowering plants. The shape of Irish yew bring height and architectural flare to your outdoor space with a certain sense of grandeur and formality. Descending from cuttings of one tree found in County Fermanagh in the 1700s, it was traditionally planted in churchyards but is now a popular addition in many private gardens too. These ‘fastigiata’ varieties are effective used singly as specimen plants or in rows of uniform height, particularly to create a more formal appearance. If grown quite close together they will also develop into an excellent, tight knitted hedge or privacy screen. They’re well-loved by wildlife with their dense branches providing nesting opportunities for small birds, including the goldcrest and firecrest, while the berries provide food for some animals (caution: the berries are highly poisonous to humans). Irish yew is extremely versatile, succeeding in all light conditions from full sun to dense shade. It will stand up to the elements on exposed sites and, providing the ground is well drained, succeed on chalky soils.