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Yew Tree's poisonous effects?

We have bought a Yew Tree to put up against a wall in the back garden but now after reading about it's poisonous effects wonder if we have done the right thing. Can one be affected by touching or clipping the tree and is it harmful to cats, birds etc?

On plant Taxus baccata (Yew)



All parts of yew (Taxus) are poisonous, if eaten by humans, no problem to birds and it's unlikely that cats would atempt to make a meal of it. Also no problems in clipping or touching the foilage. ( unless you have an allergy to yew ?)

2 Apr, 2008


Also Limehurst Limited collects yew clippings from the churchyards as it has an active ingredient particularly effective against ovarian and breast cancer. They may want yours too if you are in the UK.

2 Apr, 2008


Henry ate a whole load of berries last year while we were out walking - he was rushed off to the Vet hospital but all was well, as he just swallowed the berries without chewing. The pink flesh of the berries is not poisonous to dogs, but the black seeds inside are, plus just a handful of leaves would have killed him - and he weighs 32 kilos! Labs may eat ANYTHING they fancy (he doesn't eat leaves, though, fortunately), so it might be a concern if you had a dog or a visiting one that is a stomach on legs like ours.The message is being aware, I think, rather than the removal of a beautiful tree. You haven't got farm animals the other side of the wall, have you? Cows and horses are very vulnerable to Yew leaves.

3 Apr, 2008


Just to be pedantic, I thought I'd just point out that the berries are in fact edible - it's the seeds that are poisonous ;-) Plus, there are many other plants just as poisonous....Digitalis, Aconitum, Laburnum, to name but a few.....

3 Apr, 2008


I would not plant a yew by a wall at all.

4 Apr, 2008


We have a border collie who loves playing with sticks - even small twigs. He was REALLY ill - (diarrhoea) after just chewing on Yew tree twigs / branches. He's OK now that we've realised we have to pick up the twigs and branches in our garden before he goes down there to play. Be careful if your pet goes near Yew.

16 Aug, 2011


You can eat the berries, but only the flesh. The flesh itself is the only part that is edible and will not cause a slow and painful death. If you touch the tree, side effects include nausea, vomiting, fever, ect. That includes every other part. The leaves, bark, and seeds. When handling it, do so with care.

7 Aug, 2021

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