Great Plant Pick: Columnar golden yew

This slow-growing evergreen creates a low-maintenance vertical element in the garden.

  • Friday, November 25, 2022 1:30am
  • Life
Taxus baccata ‘Standishii’, commonly called Standishii golden yew. (Richie Steffen)

Taxus baccata ‘Standishii’, commonly called Standishii golden yew. (Richie Steffen)

What: Taxus baccata ‘Standishii,’ commonly called columnar golden yew, is an excellent, slow growing evergreen that will create a perfect low-maintenance vertical accent in the garden. Most columnar plants become too large with time or splay and split with age, but this golden columnar yew holds its rigid upright form and can easily be pruned to fit into almost any sized garden. It is one of the most compact and narrowest selections of golden yew. The new spring growth is a bright golden yellow that glows in the Pacific Northwest’s often gray weather. This color holds well into summer, eventually becoming a rich golden veneer over the dark green older interior needles.

Where: Surprisingly tolerant of a wide variety of soils from clay to sandy sites. In poor soils it is best to amend to area with added organic matter and to water regularly until the plants are established. For the best foliage color, give it bright open shade to sun all day.

Size: Grows to 8 feet tall by 3 feet wide in 10 years.

Care: Drought-tolerant once established. Will tolerate heavy pruning and is one of the few conifers that will sprout from old wood, but typical plants will require very little pruning other than removing the occasional small branch growing out of shape.

— greatplantpicks.org

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