The Tuesday tree: yew
We have a number of yew trees here, some of which are thought to be older than the castle. Ancient and mysterious, they are amongst my favourite ‘presences’ here. They are suffering at the moment, like many of the trees, under the unaccustomed weight of heavy snow. For one, which was already leaning at a vulnerable angle thanks to being undermined by a rabbit warren, the snow was the last straw. Last week it split at the base. I hate losing a tree, especially one so charismatic.
Fortunately, the rest of them do not look to be in any danger. They are thick with berries and provide a feast for the birds, who can be heard squabbling and fluttering amongst the branches. Our boys have been taught to avoid the beautiful, waxy and poisonous berries, but we enjoy the bright spots of colour that they bring to the snowy tree-scape.