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Garden with a Winner!™

Taxus cuspidate ‘Nova’ (Nova Japanese Yew)

We have a shade loving evergreen here, a truly rare find. The needles maintain a dark green, fine texture throughout the winter months with fresh soft yellow needles in the spring. This columnar shrub is good in any garden setting. Its versatility allows it to be useful in borders, urban gardens, hedges and mass plantings. The flowers are insignificant but the red berries that arrive in the fall add a nice pop of colour to the landscape as many other garden items are going dormant for the winter. These berries are not meant for human or pet consumption as they are poisonous but do appeal to many songbirds and other wildlife. Songbirds help pollinate and bring joy to any garden. Songbirds use the yew for nesting and shelter also.

Yews are generally slow growers and the ‘Nova’ is no exception; buy mature trees if you need a privacy hedge fast. At full maturity a ‘Nova’ will be around 150-180cm (6 feet) tall and 60-90cm (3 feet) wide, and could live for up to 50 years. The ‘Nova’ is a columnar so it will be growing upright. They are not opposed to some sun, fairly easy to grow and hardy to zone 4. They take well to pruning so shape them as you please but it is suggested to do it in early spring before the new growth arrives.  To maintain a yew keep the roots moist, soil well drained and have patience.

medical fact: Taxol oil is removed from yew bark and is used in chemotherapy treatment for various cancers.