WSU Clark County Extension

PNW Plants Searchable, categorized images

Irish Yew

Scientific name: Taxus baccata ‘Fastigiata’

Type:Coniferous trees
Plant Requirements
Zone:6 to 9
Sun:Full to partial sun
Plant Characteristics
Height:8 ft
Width:3 ft
Additional Characteristics



Wildlife value

Description Most commonly used for hedging purposes, Irish Yew has a naturally upright form and takes shearing well. It's an option for gardeners looking for an alternative to more common Eastern Arborvitae (Thuja occidentalis).

Taxus baccata ‘Fastigiata’ will reach 7’ – 8’ high by 3’ wide in ten years. Ultimately, it can reach up to 20 feet high if left un-pruned. It naturally makes a good shape without any clipping or trimming. It holds its branches in an upright rigid fashion. Needles are linear in shape with an acute tip.

This is a female cultivar that produces red berries in the fall. Children should be kept away from the berries as they find them attractive. Unfortunately they are poisonous.

Taxus baccata ‘Fastigiata’ prefers well-drained acidic soil and is drought tolerant once established. Plant it in full sun or shade.
All parts of the yew plant (bark, and foliage included) can be toxic, so site plants with care.

Yew generally suffers from no major insect pest problems or disease problems.
For assistance, contact Dr. Charles Brun (, (360) 397-6060 5701
Computing and Web Resources, PO Box 6234, Washington State University, Pullman WA 99164-6234