yew tree

The yew is an evergreen.

Trees of London
Russell Square


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              There is a prejudice which exists amongst tree lovers, especially those based here in Britain, that broad-leaved trees are more beautiful than conifers. However, there are few of those who hold this prejudice, who extended it as far as the yew. The yew is a pleasant friendly tree; it grows round, not fast to a tall and thin shape and is a nice habitat for wildlife. The yew is capable of living to a long length of time. There is one in Scotland several thousand years old. It is a native tree, and has earned its place in the nation's psychology. It has been mentioned in ancient stories and poetry: Lines Left Upon a Seat In a Yew Tree, by William Wordsworth.

A small yew tree at Russell Square, with
the statue of the duke of Bedford to the left.
a small yew tree

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Other Trees at Russell Square

Scots elm      holm oak

cherry     holly

Russell square

Tree Identification

Taxus baccata:

Needles: flat and soft; about 1cm.

yew needles
Yew berries

nuts/fruit: red berries; not cones; which is unusual for a conifer.

Yew flowers

not conspicuous; very, very small.

yew bark bark:
red, brown; flaky.
grows to 15 metres; squat.
general: a native tree, which can live quite a long time; there is one in Scotland over 4000 years old.

Third and fourth trees to the left of the
south-west entrance.
red: two yew trees.
There are many more in the square.

Trees of London        A James Wilkinson Publication ©