Common Name(s): Pacific Yew, Oregon Yew


Scientific Name: Taxus brevifolia


Distribution: Pacific Northwest North America


Tree Size: 30-50 ft (10-15 m) tall, 1-2 ft (.3-.6 m) trunk diameter


Average Dried Weight: 44 lbs/ft3 (705 kg/m3)


Specific Gravity (Basic, 12% MC): .60, .71


Janka Hardness: 1,600 lbf (7,120 N)


Modulus of Rupture: 15,200 lbf/in2 (104.8 MPa)


Elastic Modulus: 1,350,000 lbf/in2 (9.31 GPa)


Crushing Strength: 8,100 lbf/in2 (55.9 MPa)


Shrinkage: Radial: 4.0%, Tangential: 5.4%, Volumetric: 9.7%, T/R Ratio: 1.4


Color/Appearance: Sapwood is usually a thin band of pale yellow or tan color, while the heartwood is an orangish brown, sometimes with a darker brown or purplish hue. Color tends to darken with age.


Grain/Texture: Grain is straight, with a fine uniform texture. Good natural luster.


Endgrain: Resin canals absent; earlywood to latewood transition gradual, color contrast medium; tracheid diameter very small.


Rot Resistance: Pacific Yew is very durable in regard to decay resistance, and is also resistant to most insect attack.


Workability: Overall, an easy wood to work, though knots and other grain irregularities can pose a challenge. Yew glues, finishes, and turns well.


Odor: No characteristic odor.


Allergies/Toxicity: Although severe reactions are quite uncommon, Yew has been reported as a irritant. Usually most common reactions simply include eye, skin, and respiratory irritation, as well as nausea, headache, and cardiac effects. Additionally, nearly all parts of the Yew tree are considered toxic and poisonous to humans, and care should be exercised when working with this wood species. See the articles Wood Allergies and Toxicity and Wood Dust Safety for more information.

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