When we think ‘yew tree’ we usually think of deep green foliage clipped into hedges or used to fill those difficult shady places in every garden – and it is certainly very valuable for those places. We might forget that there is so much more to yew, and wonderful varieties exist that bring color and interesting forms as well. One of the most striking is the David Golden Yew, which creates a golden pillar of light in your garden, and makes an exciting, easy to grow accent plant with many uses around the garden.
Growing David Golden Yew Trees
David Golden Yew grows steadily into an upright column of evergreen foliage, with many upright stems covered in long, narrow leaves. It stays leafy right to the ground for many years, gradually developing a natural flame-like shape. It can easily be trimmed into a vertical column for a formal look. The leaves are slightly leathery, and soft to the touch, unlike many other ‘needle’ evergreens. They are about 1½ inches long and less than ¼ inch wide. The leaf is bright yellow, with a thin, very narrow green stripe down the middle, and in spring the new growth is almost completely golden yellow, creating a dramatic brightness. As the leaves mature the green becomes a little darker, but never as dark as seen in ordinary yew trees, and the yellow stays brilliant all year round, without significant greening. The overall effect is of a golden tree with a slightly greenish interior – beautifully bright in your garden all year round.
Uses on Your Property
Use the David Golden Yew as a powerful color accent around the garden. It combines the advantages of a vertical accent – always useful in any bed – with foliage color as well, and it brings you months and months of color, not just a week or two, as flowering shrubs usually do. This shrub is an ideal addition to the planting around your home, hiding bare walls, framing windows, and filling spaces perfectly.
Plant it as a single specimen in smaller gardens and spaces, or in groups of 3, 5, or more to easily fill larger spaces with attractive and colorful low-maintenance planting. It is ideal for planting as a pair on either side of an entrance, to bring a formal look to your garden, or use it in planter boxes on a terrace or larger balcony. In wooden tubs it would look perfect, not even needing other plants around it, although you could add trailing plants for a beautiful finish.
Planting and Initial Care
David Golden Yew grows well in sun or shade. For the strongest golden effect it should be grown in full sun or light shade, but even in shade it is much brighter than any other yew tree available. It grows easily in almost any garden soil, but not in soils that are constantly wet. Water your new plant regularly for the first year or two, and during longer summer dry spells. This variety is hardy in zone 6, but if you are looking for yew to grow in zone 5, and even in zone 4, we recommend our selection of Japanese yew varieties, or a hybrid yew such as Hicks Yew. Yew is usually free of pests and diseases of any concern, and this is an easy, adaptable plant that anyone can grow and enjoy.
History and Origins of the David Golden Yew
The English Yew (taxus baccata) grows all over Europe, as well as in North Africa and the Middle East. In hotter countries it is found in cooler mountain areas. It has been grown in gardens for centuries, for its hard wood, and for hedges and clipped ornamental plants. It is very easy to trim, and unlike most other conifers it will re-sprout from old branches with no leaves on them. It also doesn’t produce cones, but instead it has red berries in fall and winter, which contain a poisonous seed. There are separate male and female trees, and the David Golden Yew is a male tree, so it never produces berries, making it completely safe around children.
The variety called ‘David’ was found around the beginning of this century as a seedling tree growing at a tree nursery in the Netherlands, called Boomkwekerijen Zundert. It was named after the owner, David Bömer. It could be a seedling from a variegated form of the famous Irish Yew, an upright all-green yew tree that was found growing wild in Ireland in 1780. It has several similar forms, with yellow and green leaves, and since it is a female tree, it has already produced several varieties from seedlings.
The David Golden Yew has caught everyone’s attention since it was introduced, for its brilliant yellow coloring, lasting all year. It is the strongest yellow of any of the upright yews, and we know that our stock will soon be gone, so order now to bring year-round brightness into your garden.