Image for Pacific Yew

Pacific Yew

Scientific name

Taxus brevifolia


Pacific Yew is a coniferous tree or shrub species that typically grows between 6 and 12 m in height. The bark is thin and has purple or red colored scales. The foliage is sharp pointed, linear shaped, yellowish green colored with pale undersides, and spirally arranged along the stem. The fruits are fleshy, scarlet colored, oval shaped, and contain a single poisonous seed. This tree can grow as either a tree or a hedge-like shrub, depending on site conditions. The foliage is an important food source for many wildlife species including deer, elk, and especially moose. These trees are also valuable as nesting habitat for many bird species. The roots are good for controlling erosion and stabilizing shorelines. This plant has often been chosen for streambank rehabilitation.

Planting conditions

Pacific Yew grows best in normal to moist conditions with full sun, partial sun or shade. It prefers well-drained, cool, rich loam soils. It can also tolerate shallow rocky soils. It is very tolerant of shade, air pollution, diseases, and pests. It is a favorite food for many ungulates and may be browsed if not caged. This tree can be naturally found in moist forests, mountainous areas, and along riparian zones in the Pacific Northwest.


  • Plant height:
    • Any
    • Over 3m
  • Moisture level:
    • Normal
    • Moist
  • Light conditions:
    • Full sun
    • Partial sun
    • Shade
  • Soil type:
    • Loamy
    • Rocky
  • pH:
    • Normal
  • Depth:
    • Potted
  • Eco Zone:
    • 3a
    • 3b
    • 4a
    • 4b
    • 5a
    • 5b
    • 6a
    • 6b
    • 7a
    • 7b
    • 8a
  • Plant type:
    • Tree
  • Height:
    • 6-12 m
  • Spread:
    • 3 m