open main page here



YEW, ENGLISH

Taxus baccata


Tasux spp. of the family Taxaceae, also known as common yew, European yew, Persian yew, etc.

I have it anecdotally that the famous English longbow, long a staple of medieval warfare, was originally made of English (European) yew (Taxus baccata), but Spanish yew (also Taxus baccata but with somewhat different growing conditions) became more prevalent since it is actually better for bows because it grows straighter.

my samples:
NOTE: these pics were all taken in very bright incandescent lighting --- colors will vary under other lighting conditions


took out a good-sized English yew (Taxus baccata) hedge from my back yard today and cut this little double-stem piece just to show the grain. The piece was oozing moisture but here it's been in front of a fan for several hours so the end has dried out and is noticibly less dark-colored than it was when wet. HUGE enlargements are present


another little piece and end grain closeup, from the same hedge as the piece directly above (and also surface-dried in front of the fan). HUGE enlargments are present


END GRAIN UPDATE from the other end of the piece directly above


after I cut the stumps (see above) off level to the ground, I cut-off this little wedge (it's 1/8" thick at the bottom and about an inch at the top). I was just tossing it in the burn bin when I noticed how really neat it looked, so I sanded it down for this pic. The color, much darker and richer than the branch piece directly above, is correct.


a few modest-sized limb pieces from the same bushes --- English yew / taxus baccata --- as the wedge directly above. HUGE enlargements are present for all of these pics.


end grain of all three of the pieces directly above and then individual end grain closeups of two of the three


end grain and END GRAIN UPDATE from the other of the pieces directly above. HUGE enlargements are present.


some smaller pieces (pen blanks) from the same bush as the pieces directly above. HUGE enlargements are present for all of these pics.


end grain of the small pieces directly above


small stick ... pic provided by Iain Rankin, whom I thank for this and other contributions to the site. Iain also sent me the small turning and tiny plank in the 2nd pic. All these are English yew. My color correction on the 2nd pic did not put back as much yellow as there actually is in the wood; it isn't really quite this dull, but it's not as bright as the piece in the first pic.





English yew veneer sheet and closeup --- this was designated as "pippy" but the amount of dotting needed to cause a vendor to designate yew veneer as "pippy" clearly ranges down to just about none. As you'll see on the "yew, misc" page, many veneer sheets shown on the web have more dotting than this but are not designated as "pippy"

web pics:


logs listed as English yew


end grain shot of Taxus baccata


English yew planks, moistened for the pics (except the first one)


English yew planks


plank listed as Persian yew / Taxus baccata


English yew tree that has been cut "through and through" and splashed with water


planks listed as European yew


European yew plank with a color representation that is just ridiculous


"European" yew veneer


veneer listed as European yew / Taxus baccata


flat cut veneer (the first one is a bookmatched pair) listed as Taxus baccata


English yew burl veneer, bookmatched pairs


pippy veneer, bookmatched pair listed as Taxus baccata



Persian yew veneer. "Persian" yew is a very uncommon designation but as nearly as I can tell, it refers to Taxus baccata so I have included it on this page.


Persian yew veneer and closeups. "Persian" yew is a very uncommon designation but as nearly as I can tell, it refers to Taxus baccata so I have included it on this page.


pippy Persian yew veneer





dresser and armoire, both listed as European yew


English yew bowl turned and photographed by Tom Pleatman, whom I thank for this pic and other contributions to the site. Big enlargements are present.


8-inch diameter English yew bowl by Steve Earis


bowl listed as English yew


English yew bowl by Steve Earis


vase listed as English yew


hollow form listed as Enlish yew root burl