How and when to plant a Taxus baccata ?

You want to beautify your garden by planting a magnificent Taxus Baccata, but don’t know how and when to plant it? Don’t panic, our article is here to help you!

What is a Taxus Baccata?

The yew Taxus baccata is a magnificent conifer with red berries, it has a rather dark green and fat foliage, compact and evergreen, with a conical line that can climb up to 25 meters and live particularly long, up to 2 000 years!

Taxus baccata gave its name to the botanical family Taxaceae which includes 31 species classified in five genera. The name baccata indicates “bearing berries” in relation to the red arils found on these trees. The name taxus was borrowed by the Latin to create the name “taxicum” which means poison, because the whole of this plant, except the berries, is toxic.

Contrary to what one might think, the common yew is not assigned only to Provence. It is a tree that adapts to all types of exposure, which does not fear pollution or drafts. Thus, it is quite possible to plant it in not very fertile soils and even in places where the climate is not very docile.

It is a particularly hardy tree, slow growing and recommended as a hedge tree, it is easily pruned into various shapes and its slow growth allows it to keep its shape for a long time.

How to plant a yew ?

How to plant a Taxus baccata

It is quite possible to plant 3 plants per meter, but also why not combine it with privet for a beautiful style effect. It is preferable to plant the yew in winter, at least from the end of September to the beginning of April, but it is imperative that it does not freeze at the time of planting and during the cycle of recovery.

The hole for planting the yew should be at least twice the size of the root ball. It is best to soak the root ball in water before placing it in its destination hole.

Once the root ball is in its hole, it should be covered with potting soil up to the height of the trunk, then compacted with the feet.

To finish the plantation, a copious watering is recommended.

The substrate

Yews prefer chalky, clayey, sandy and particularly well drained soils. It is preferable to enrich the substrate with compost and sand to improve drainage. For poorer soils, the use of compost and humus is recommended. Soils that are really too rich and heavy will have to be aerated with sand and gravel.


A good dose of compost in the spring will do the trick. Only soils that are too poor or sandy require a continuous addition of compost or fertilizer once a month.

Maintenance of yew trees

Yew trees prefer sunny or half-shaded locations and a southern, northern, eastern or western exposure.

Regarding watering, yew trees need a sober but regular watering. During hotter and drier periods, yew trees need much more generous watering.

For maintenance pruning, it is necessary to cut all the small dead wood once a year around the first days of summer.

Yew trees can be propagated by cuttings, grafting or layering. Propagation can also be done naturally with birds, which are very fond of fruits.

Diseases of Taxus baccata

Yew trees are generally not much attacked by pests. Only mites, in case of continuous drought, can cause damage. A heavy watering at this period could even be enough to avoid the problem.

If the mites manage to develop, natural solutions exist to get rid of them, such as black ladybug larvae, but also phytoseiids.

Growing yew Taxus baccata in pots

The yew is also suitable for cultivation in pots, preferably in terra cotta and even in tubs for the decoration of balconies or terraces. The most important thing is the choice of the pot, it must be big enough, at least 40 centimeters in diameter.

If the yew is delivered in a container, it is important to take advantage of this moment to weed and untangle the root ball. If it is delivered in a root ball, do everything possible to avoid breaking the root ball.

Using large gravel, line the bottom of the pot for drainage. Then mix potting soil and soil in the pot so that the root ball is four or five centimeters from the top edge. Finally, watering is done in rain using an apple watering can.

Ideally, this repotting operation should be carried out in autumn, which will allow the yew to root well during the winter and thus shine in summer without having to suffer from the heat.


The yew is a tree with many applications and remains very popular in our gardens. It can be used for hedges, windbreaks and even bonsai trees.

As a decorative group for the garden, it is widely used, but also as an ornamental because of its ease of pruning, maintenance and trimming…

Rate this post

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *