The Yew shrub family of plants are from the genus Taxus. There are many horticultural forms and cultivars and the primary difference between them is the growth habit and size. Yews are long-lived, disease resistant and easy to grow. Add the evergreen factor and it is no wonder that yews are one of the most popular landscape plants.
The large variation of sizes and habits displayed by yews creates numerous uses in landscapes. Some varieties make great hedges because of their dense foliage and others are used individually as a specimen plant. Yews take to pruning very well and even yews that have outgrown their space can be cut back severely and they will send out new shoots and return to looking great in a short time period. Yews are wonderful for topiary work because of how adaptable they are to pruning and shaping.