This is why there are still large stands in England today and the reason for the country being the main supplier of yew logs. Because of its small dimensions and being very susceptible to defects such as knots, inner checking and calcereous deposits, wood suitable for slicing is very rare and correspondingly expensive. In Germany Yew is protected by preservation rights. Largest known occurrence is in the municipal forest of Banská Bystrica (SK) with approx. 300,000 trees.
All components of the tree are poisonous except for its red fruit cups. The bark of the taxus brevifolia (USA) is said to heal cancer.
Use: A very good and expensive veneer wood. Decorative and exclusive furniture often in the English style. Seldom possible to find clean, large surface veneer and thus often used as inlays to upgrade the value of furniture. Ideal wood also for high quality turneries and wood carvings.
Character: Sapwood and heartwood are clearly defined. The heartwood is brownish, red-brown to orange-brown. Required in the veneer is the so-called pepper. These are tiny dots in the veneer arranged in a pattern, ideally in clusters. The annual rings are very narrow and occur as deep, dark annual zones.
Particularities: According to Germanic mythology, the hunting god Uller made a bow of Yewtree. Yew arcs were particularly popular in England. Every merchant ship that wanted to trade in England during the late Middle Ages had to carry a certain number of Yew blanks. Wagner also use yew wood, among other things. Yew is not only known for its high elasticity and toughness, but also for its very distinctive and decorative character.