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Yew wood

Yew trees are rarely found in this country and are among the most unusual trees of all. The yew tree was selected as tree of the year in 1994 and is protected, a once widespread tree species.

The yew tree

The fact that the yew has become so rare is due to the special properties of its wood, which have made the tree extremely popular. It is because of their slow growth that stocks have just recovered after heavy felling in past centuries. Of all things, the yew tree is a tree that, because of its incredible regenerative powers, plays an important role as a tree of life and also in pagan, Roman and Greek mythology. The fact that the magical powers are attributed to the yew tree can be interpreted mainly for the use of the manufacture of magic wands.

Yew tree wood properties

Yew trees can get very old and are hardly affected by pests. It is said that the oldest tree in Germany is more than 1000 years old. The yew tree is the only native conifer without resin. As beautiful and special as it is poisonous, the tree grows up to 25 meters high. All components except the red coat of the ripe fruit seed can be fatal to humans if consumed. Badger fruit jam is considered a delicacy. Some of the toxins contained in the yew tree fruit are used as drugs in conventional medicine and naturopathy.

Processing and characteristics

Yew tree wood is very heavy, strong and elastic, ideal as wood for turning and carving; also very resistant to moisture. There are no traces of resin in the wood or bark. The edges of the annual rings are easy to see, which makes the wood very special. It has excellent drying properties and can be worked well with hacksaws and carving knives. Yew wood can be polished, stained and polished very well. Its surface is suitable for treatment by all common means.

Caution is advised when working with the badger: some people react to wood dust from the badger with headaches and mucous membrane irritation. Because of its toxicity, it is recommended not to carve spoons, children's toys or similar objects that are placed in the mouth.


Badger wood is a special type of wood which, due to its rarity, hardly plays a role in industrial use. Even today, the frame shuttles are still made of yew wood. Badger wood is also in great demand for the production of barrel taps, musical instruments and measuring instruments. In the Middle Ages and before, yew wood was considered the ideal wood for the bow. Ötzi, the glacier mummy of the Ötztal Alps, also carried a yew wood arch.

However, today yew wood is primarily a popular shrub and cutting wood. Thanks to its attractive and homogeneous appearance and its exceptional durability, artists love to use it for the production of valuable sculptures.

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