European yew (Taxus baccata) is one of our classic coniferous bonsai subjects.
It has great characteristics for bonsai and being native is very hardy and easy to grow. It responds well to living in a pot and all other bonsai techniques. It is also probably the UK’s old living tree species, the years of the most venerable examples being measured in the thousands rather than the hundreds .As a bonsai the species will typically be created using three main elements, deadwood features using both branches and trunk, Jin and shari, prominent live veins and the contrasting green of the foliage areas. The extent to which you follow this recipe is, of course, down to your own personal preference.
This is going to be an outstanding bonsai from a chuhin size class of yamadori. It features an impressive chunky trunk at 6cm across at soil level. The trunk then breaks into mature branching shortly above that giving the opportunity to start off with lower branching of an appropriate girth for the mature tree effect. Within the height of 42cm and branch spread of 42cm there is a plethora of branches from which to develop a canopy to harmonise with the trunk girth and height. The risky first repot has already been carried out and we were so confident about the positive future for this yew that we chose a hand-made Stone Lantern (Andy Pearson) unglazed oval ceramic measuring 32x27x6cm. for the tree.
Some more recent pictures just added of this tree showing the extra growth and more of the detail including trunk and root spread. It has also been re-potted into a larger Japanese unglazed oval ceramic of decent quality, it measures 42x32x6 cm.