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Jenny1234

Advice on large yew tree

Question

I would be very grateful for any advice. I live in a large house in the Cotswolds, approximately 300 years old. There is a very large yew tree (taller than the house) within about 3 metres of the house. As far as I am aware, this tree is not protected by any TPO.

 

This tree causes quite a nuisance as it blocks out a lot of light to my house. It overhangs my neighbours' garden and reduces light to their garden too. I have heard that yew can be poisonous, and as I have small children, this is also a worry to me. I would really like to have the whole tree removed. We have, in previous years, had it reduced in height, but this hasn't solved the problems.

 

I would like to know how I can determine whether it is safe to cut down this tree. A google search has suggested that I might be worried about "heave" and that I might need to know what soil type I have before making a decision about cutting down the tree.

 

I would welcome any advice from anyone who has any knowledge on this subject. My gardening knowledge is very limited!

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I would say that it not a problem to the house

 

The berry are poisons but you would need to eat a far before it had any effect

 

it would also be a shame to cut a 300 year old yew tree down and i would be surprised if it did not have a tpo on it

 

But i am not a tree surgeon so i might be wrong about it affecting the house

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Thank you bellringer for your reply - I don't think that the yew itself is 300 years old. We have some very old trees in our garden but although it is tall, it doesn't look that old!

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If its any help, my mother was in the same situation when i was a toddler. She wrote to the chief researcher at Kew and asked them for their advise and how toxic a Yew tree actually is.

She has still got the reply letter from them in her filing-

"Berries, bark, and leaves are all poisonous and the effect of ingesting any part of the tree is death"

 

Now my mother is a very sensible, university type and very laid back- but that was enough to make her seriously worried. Heard a gardening expert on the radio the other week suggesting to a school that they plant yew trees in the playground of a nursery and infant school- total complete madness!

 

Phone Kew and ask them for an uptodate response- i am now 39, so its a while ago- but even leaves dropped into an animal water bowl can be fatal to dogs , cats and sheep as the toxins leach out into the water.

Hope that helps a bit!

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they don't have to look that old to be ancient.

 

my understanding is that the only part of the yew that is not poisonous is the red fleshy bit of the berry as birds eat them they pass the cone and so don't get poisoned.

 

i may be biased but leave the tree, it was there first...

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The leaf and the seed are the poisonous part not the fleshy red part of the berry, you can eat that (not worth it though)

 

I believe any green part is highly poisonous

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