Landscape Plants of the Upper Midwest

Japanese Yew

{Picture of Japanese Yew}

Plant Information

  • Plant Type: Medium Evergreen
  • Scientific Name: Taxus cuspidata Play audio of plant name
  • Family: Yew
  • Related Cultivars:

    Taxus cuspidata 'Capitata'
    Taxus cuspidata var. nana

  • Zone: 4
  • Plant Size: dependent on cultivar
  • Habit: Dependant on Cultivar
  • Culture:

    Adaptable, but very intolerant of poor drainage. Full sun to shade, however the foliage may be damaged if exposed to excessive winter sun and wind

  • Notes:

    Has become extremely popular due to its ease of culture, shade tolerance and year-round dark green foliage. It responds well to shearing and makes an attractive trimmed hedge. Unfortunately, it is also trimmed into assorted geometric shapes along the foundation. Dioecious. Females bear red fruit containing a small seed that is poisonous.

  • Taxus usage:

    All Taxus should be used with prudence near populations of white-tailed deer and farm livestock, as they are relished by the former and fatal to the later.

  • Pruning:Pruning animation

    Yews (Taxus) may be sheared to give a formal look when used as a hedge, or may be trimmed for a more natural appearance as shown here. Cut back the most vigorous shoots inside the body of the plant where they meet another branch. This type of pruning may be done lightly at anytime of the year, but heavy pruning is best done between early spring and Mid-July.

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Landscape Plants of the Upper Midwest

Bill Hoch, Associate Professor
Montana State University

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