The Yew Tree is one of only 3 native conifers and is slow growing.
Yews grow especially well on chalk. They resist pollution well and can flourish in the shade of taller trees but little will grow in the shade they themselves cast.
When planted as a hedge and clipped, the Yew forms one of the most distinguished of screens.
The bark is poisonous and so is the cut foliage though horses and cattle can sometimes graze on living yew boughs without ill effect. The scarlet berries are harmless but their seeds are poisonous.