Taxus cuspidata- Japanese Yew


General: An upright evergreen tree or multi stemmed shrub of irregular habit with upright, spreading branches. Can be broad or narrow with an erect or flattened crown. Can grow to 40’ depending on cultivar.

Leaves: Taxus needles are short, leathery, in sets of 2, v shaped and pointed, up to 1” long. Soft yellow green new growth turns dark green with yellow green bands.

Bark: Reddish brown and exfoliating in scales.

Flowers:  Dioecious and inconspicuous. Stamens with short filaments arising from leaf axils from March to April.

Fruit: Round red seeds 1/3” long.

Attributes:  An excellent evergreen shrub for foundation plantings, hedges, topiary, screens and bonsai.


Hardiness:  Zones 4-7.

Growing Conditions: Prefers a moist, well-draining sandy loam, but is PH adaptable. Sun to shade.

Maintenance No serious insect/ disease issues. Requires shearing or hand pruning if hedged.

Transplanting: Transplants easily.

Our Experience

Experience at Great Hill

We utilize taxus on the hill mostly for hedges and screens. While they perform well at both tasks, they do require regular pruning as well as protection from browsing deer during the winter months. Over exposure to sun and wind can cause yellowing of the leaves as well. Taxus do not appreciate wet feet so it is best to provide as much drainage as possible to avoid stunted growth and or decline. Taxus is poisonous to both humans and livestock.