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Author Topic: Yew planting questions  (Read 388 times)

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Offline Dan_the_DJ

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Yew planting questions
« on: March 18, 2021, 08:14:45 AM »
Hello everyone,
its my first post here on the forestry forum.


I was always fascinated with yew, especially since I got into archery and bow making. Its a pretty rare species in my country, so much so that Ive never seen one in the wild, only in certain parks.

I want to eventually plant a whole forest of European yew, but for starters, I want to take a few cuttings of the only yew tree I could find near me and see how it goes. There were two other massive yew trees nearby, but they got cut down, so Im left with only this small, bushlike yew. I hope theyre the same species, not that bushy dwarf Irish yew, or whatever its called.
I could take a few pictures if you want, to help me identify it.

Anyways, I wanted to know the procedure for planting yew from a cutting. I got the gist of the actual process of cutting the appropriate branch and what to do after to make it grow, or root.
My question is how long after it starts rooting do I plant it in the ground for good and which month would be best?

At what altitude and what kind of soil would suit yew the most?

How much sun does it need and is there really too much sun for yew?

And lastly, is it best to plant just a straight yew forest, or sprinkle a few other species in there?
If so, which species should I mix in for best results?

Id also like to mention that I would plant in relatively remote locations, so watering manually would be a major problem.
You can google for "Stara planina" to see the location where I want to plant, if thats of any use at all...

Thank you all for your time and help, cheers.


Offline BradMarks

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Re: Yew planting questions
« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2021, 11:23:00 AM »
Here we have what is called Pacific Yew, grows abundantly in the Cascades, but very slow and slower.  Back in the '90's I was involved in the harvest of the bark of the yew tree for the taxol and the subsequent breast cancer research.  We cut down a lot of trees, so there are fewer now in our area ;D.  The largest was 26" diameter and 65' tall. They tend to grow in and amongst a conifer stand, often times there for the second rotational cut if left from the previous harvest. I have tried to grow a replanted sapling with limited success. After a year or two in the wrong location they have died. My belief is when young they prefer filtered light for best growing conditions. Mature yew wood that have been closed in for years with a conifer canopy will succumb. But mature yew in the open will live. There is some success with re-sprouting stumps, similar to redwood. Pacific yew grows a few inches per year. 

Offline Dan_the_DJ

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Re: Yew planting questions
« Reply #2 on: March 19, 2021, 02:28:10 PM »
I took a few pictures of an unknown yew tree nearby, is it European yew or not?
Since is rather tall, I recon it cant be Fastigata, Irish yew, so I think Im good to take cuttings from it, no?
I will plant them in several locations over the years and we will see where it want to thrive and where not.
I just hope I get to make one yew bow from my own trees before I move on to greener pastures  ;D

Edit: cant post an imgur link, but I uploaded an album to the forum, I just dont know how to link it here...

Offline Ianab

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Re: Yew planting questions
« Reply #3 on: March 19, 2021, 07:02:46 PM »
I uploaded an album to the forum, I just dont know how to link it here..

Hi Dan. 

If you go back into your Album and bring up the picture you want, scroll down and find the box that says "Alternative Method". Copy the code from that box. 

Code: [Select]
<br>[img]https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/65382/20210319_174426.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1616176656[/img]<br>
Past that into your post and it should give 





When you upload new pictures, there will be be a link to automatically insert the code in the post that you came from, but that only works when you enter your gallery via the "Click here to Add" button. If you go back into your gallery later to pull up an existing picture, copy the code. 

:)
Weekend warrior, Peterson JP test pilot, Dolmar 7900 and Stihl MS310 saws and  the usual collection of power tools :)

Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: Yew planting questions
« Reply #4 on: March 20, 2021, 05:24:04 AM »
Here is an old paper on propagating balsam fir from cuttings. It may be helpful for your yew propagation. :)

Propagating balsam fir from cuttings
“No amount of belief makes something a fact.” James Randi

Offline Dan_the_DJ

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Re: Yew planting questions
« Reply #5 on: March 20, 2021, 10:21:58 AM »
Thanks, I think I got it now.

Here are a few more pictures to help indentify the tree:













Thanks for the document as well :)

Offline KEC

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Re: Yew planting questions
« Reply #6 on: March 20, 2021, 11:22:00 PM »
I don't know about the kind of yew that you want to plant or what deer, if any are in your area. I think that around here young yew trees might be heavily browsed by our Whitetailed Deer in the winter.

Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: Yew planting questions
« Reply #7 on: March 21, 2021, 05:39:34 AM »
I don't think deer will touch them. I know it will kill a cow. They are toxic. Wild animals know. Cows are dumb.

Warning: Yews are extremely toxic to livestock - MSU Extension

I have some small patches of Canada yew and the moose and deer nor hares ever touch them. Moose and hares will eat fir and hares will eat spruce.
“No amount of belief makes something a fact.” James Randi

Offline Dan_the_DJ

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Re: Yew planting questions
« Reply #8 on: March 21, 2021, 08:43:21 AM »
I too was under the impression that yew is very toxic and that animals wont get a second chance to dine on it, if they touch it at all :D
There are a lot of wild boar roaming around though. I believe they might do more damage than roe deer will.



Edit: Which part of the tree should I use for cuttings? To my understanding, I should take the branch in the middle of each larger branch, but where on the tree should I look?
Its most convenient from the bottom bush, but there, the leaves are very brown in appearance, as you can see in this photo:





Not sure if thats a problem, or even  some sort of a disease, but Id like to know which parts will serve my purpose best.
Thanks.

Offline KEC

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Re: Yew planting questions
« Reply #9 on: March 21, 2021, 12:15:02 PM »
Gentlemen, Try a search for:  "Deer damage heavy? Try planting deer-resistant plants."  And I understand that there are different kinds of yew. And that there are different deer in Serbia. Things are different in different geographic regions. Where I live they rarely touch Juniper but, I have seen where there was a high deer population for several consecutive years and the Juniper was being browsed. Here deer definately browse planted yew in suburban yards. I rest my case.

Offline Dan_the_DJ

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Re: Yew planting questions
« Reply #10 on: March 21, 2021, 01:00:50 PM »
Here deer definately browse planted yew in suburban yards.
Wow, I never would have imagined that. Do they eat the bark or something else?
I hear the berries are edible.
Some people even make jam out of them, you just have to mind the seed though...

I dont really know anything about deer population in my parts, but they are protected by law and can be hunted only with special permits in the company of the game warden. So I guess they cant be that numerous, which might mean they dont have to resort to yew, there are plenty of other conifers to chose from.
And besides, there are feeding grounds relatively nearby, so I dont think they will touch them. I hope not!

Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: Yew planting questions
« Reply #11 on: March 21, 2021, 01:15:30 PM »
I did find this paper that suggests moose and deer browse on Canada Yew

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/237155261_The_ecology_of_Canada_Yew_Taxus_canadensis_Marsh_A_review

Sure wouldn't have thought so, they don't bother mine. I have a certain area it is growing on and they haven't touched it. Across the road on my cousins ground it grew thick under the softwood, but beavers killed it out with flooding a few years ago. Now we get fiddle heads there.

Been known to be toxic to livestock for some time.
“No amount of belief makes something a fact.” James Randi

Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: Yew planting questions
« Reply #12 on: March 21, 2021, 01:25:36 PM »
I believe you'll want your tip cuttings from the lower half of the crown, where the main stem wood is older. But the study with fir showed best results with young trees under a meter.
“No amount of belief makes something a fact.” James Randi

Offline Dan_the_DJ

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Re: Yew planting questions
« Reply #13 on: March 21, 2021, 04:40:31 PM »
Thanks. Im going to harvest some tomorrow, hopefully Im not too late.


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