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Linton Yew, Midlands


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The massive Linton Yew is thought to be one of the oldest yew trees in Britain. The largest of two old yews in St Mary’s churchyard, Herefordshire, this female tree has a very wide girth, and a huge, hollowed out trunk.

 Like all ancient yews, it is very difficult to accurately date the Linton Yew, especially as there are no rings to count in its hollowed trunk.  The Ancient Yew Group classifies a yew as ancient at 800 years old, when its girth will be at least 7m, and with a girth of over 9 metres, it is certain that the Linton Yew is considerably older.

The many threats faced by yew trees include neglect, poor management and arson, and the Linton Yew was severely damaged when it was deliberately set on fire in 1998. Thankfully, English yew (Taxus baccata) has an amazing capacity to regenerate, and 16 years on, the tree at Linton appears to have recovered well.  A wonderful example of yew regeneration, the Linton Yew has a five foot internal stem which can be easily observed. Secondary wood is flowing over the old white wood on both sides of the cavity that faces the path.

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