Taxus baccata, Ageing the Yew- no core, no curve? Fergus Kinmonth, 2005 PDF

The distribution zone of Taxus baccata extends from Finno-Scandia to Asia Minor and the Caucasus and southward into north Africa, but mainland Britain contains the greatest concentration of truly ancient trees. The range of this species is defined by climatic extremes in central and western Europe; it is ideally suited to the mild oceanic climate of the UK where limiting growth factors are rainfall and growth season thermo period. In keeping with its climatic preferences, it is often a component of montane forest to the south of its zone and of lower altitudes to the north. About 45 specimens of exceptional girth have been gazetted by the Conservation Foundation in London, some of which have achieved girths of up to 10.75m. Tentative age assessments have been made using current guidelines, arriving at a possible age for these trees of 2000 years. Some 8000 cuttings have been propagated from these “methuselahs” and planted in the churchyards of England and Wales.

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