Rus Articles Journal

Yew - the age-mate of dinosaurs. What destiny of this tree?

the Red, beautiful tree call a yew. Its destiny is tragic. In the tertiary period the yew grew in extensive territories of Eurasia and North America, and today is entered in the list of the protected plants in all countries where it remained.

In Ancient Egypt it was called a death tree. Mummies of Pharaohs were put in yew sarcophagi, and in days of grief carried yew branches in a hand.

Alexander Pushkin wrote about him such lines:

The nature of the eager steppes

in a day of wrath generated it.

I greens dead branches,

I roots poison gave to drink.


All parts of a yew, except for pulp of a galberry, are poisonous. Pliny Sr. wrote that the people drinking from yew cups got severe poisonings.

Only in the 20th century established that a basis of yew poison is alkaloid Thaksin striking nervous system and a digestive tract. In needles ephedrine which in high doses is deadly to the person is found.

Only hares and deer can eat needles of a yew without harm for themselves, and fruits - martens and blackbirds. Pets, having eaten yew young growth, had a serious illness and even perished therefore near dwellings the yew was ruthlessly cut down.

But not it was the main cause of disappearance of the yew woods. Still the primitive person applied the stone axe to a trunk of this powerful tree when he began to use a yew on support for dwellings and other economic purposes. Later began to cut down the whole groves on production of copies, onions, arrows and gun kernels. It is probable therefore the yew was given the Latin name from the word tuxus - a spear.

Yew wood - almost eternal, it dense, possesses bactericidal properties and perfectly remains in water and the earth. And when in the 16th century the beginning promptly to develop the shipbuilding, a yew began to cut down barbarous.

Then there was a craft - the cabinetmaker, the carver on ôredô, or beautiful, to a tree. Yew wood, really, has a reddish shade. But fertile in finishing, it is not harmless to the person.

Other reason of disappearance of the yew woods - extremely slow growth. Seedlings annually add in height only 1 - 3 cm, and at the age of hundred years the tree hardly reaches one - three meters in height. In a year the trunk increases in the diameter approximately by 1,2 mm.

In the Crimea grows 1200 - a summer yew, its height only 10 meters, and diameter - about 1,3 meters.

Wild-growing yews berry can live till 4000 years. In the well-known yew grove near Khosta there are trees which age exceeded 2000. Being in an environment of such trees, involuntarily you think of greatness, power and wisdom of the Nature. At these moments it gives us the intimate stories from life of last times.

... The majestic old Yew grew in one of age-old kingdoms on the pridvortsovy square. Who and why grew up this poisonous tree near human dwellings, nobody knew. But here that was surprising: The yew was respected and read now and then by all residents of the country, protected it as a relic as a shrine.

Tell that in days of old to it girls often came and asked:

- Give me the sunflower seed, a powerful tree.

- Why to you poison, nerazumnoyo child? - asked the Yew.

And girls told it stories of the unfortunate love and begged to give a sunflower seed to poison a razluchnitsa.

The tree answered:

- I will not give poison to you - you conceived a deed of evil. Go on life with kind thoughts, and the destiny will smile to you.

Came to it and young young men, asking about the same. On it the wise Yew spoke:

- Artful business was planned by you. What of you will be after that the man, the soldier? Go and in an honest duel with the rival solve the disputes.

And once the king`s son - future successor of a throne came to it - and imperiously told:

- Give me the most poisonous sunflower seed!

The yew pricked up the ears and asked:

- Why to you, future governor, poison?

- My father - the king - is old and ailing, he cannot operate the country any more, and the throne does not want to transfer to me.

Terribly answered this tree:

- Not to you to solve such affairs. If really you want to be useful to the people, help the father to rule the kingdom and tell it about the mean intentions.

The young king`s son reflected and left in the rooms. Long there was no he in public, reflecting over words of an old tree, at last, was to the king and, having inclined the head, told it of the bad plans. And then offered the father the help. Nothing the king answered. But after a while called the king`s son for himself and delegated him the royalty.

And it was moved in the country - to Tis people with the thoughts, doubts came, and for everyone he found proper words.

Somehow the little boy approached it and asked:

- Grandfather Tis, you poisonous plant. What you bring benefit? Why you are so respected and appreciated?

Old Tis answered:

- All of us were created by the Nature, and it in vain does nothing. At everyone - the life, from everyone - the advantage. My seeds feed birds: brightly - the red pulp of my galberries is not poisonous. Hares and deer can eat needles of yews - our poison is not dangerous by it. I do harm to nobody and I warn people against temptation to make a deed of evil. The Nature allocated people with mind. Here they also have to understand how to use this generous gift.

The kid reflected, and then told:

- I will think before making acts.

- There now and well done! - the old man answered.

And once the stranger approached a tree and told:

- Dear Tis, I did a long way to find you. Tell that in your country justice and respectability prospers, and in it is your merit. And in my country there is a lot of evil and violence. Give, please, to me your sunflower seed. I want to grow up at us the same tree.

- The noble cause was conceived by you, the kind person! And whether you know that to grow up a yew, not one generation of gardeners will be required?

- I have a young assistant. He appreciates the Nature, is kind soul and is devoted to me. I will also submit it the case, - the newcomer answered.

- Then good luck! - Tis told and, having shaken the most beautiful branch with juicy fruits, threw to the gardener one galberry.

The traveler bowed to an old tree, thanked him and, without delaying, went to the country.