**133/O-Tree Talk-Yew.


This gloomy-looking  tree of sinister reputation rival the oak in longevity & the life of some hoary specimens is estimated to be nearly two thousand years.  While the leaves of the yew are undoubtedly poisonous  to cattle,  many  of  the evil qualities attributed to the tree are superstitions.  The berries are not poisonous, as the birds eat them.      The yew grows very slowly,   as befits a tree that has possibly twenty centuries ahead of it.      It never reaches a great height ,   but  old   trees  have  an immense  girth & a wide spreading  crown.  The bark is  smooth & grey & the trunk of old trees is generally heavily fluted as if many stems had joined themselves together to form this shape.      The dark shining evergreen leaves are set in close rows on opposite sides of the twigs.  They are about an inch long & very narrow.  The flowers are of distinct  sexes & grow on separate trees, which is unusual in conifers.   male flowers are small yellow balls growing among the leaves on the top side of the spray.  The stamens  produce an enormous quantity of pollen.  The female flowers are small green pointed ovoids rowing on the underside of the twigs.  They turn into little green cups containing a  hard nut.    


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