The yew tree is unique. Its presence in the myth and history of many cultures, and its recognition as Yggdrasil – the Norse World Tree – as well as the Tree of Life, or Tree of God in other cultures, highlights its significance. Humans have had a proven special relationship with yew trees for around 400,000 years in both the material and spiritual realms. This extraordinary connection continues to enthuse and inspire people to this very day.
The yew is particularly entwined with many people and places that have significantly influenced Scotland’s history. Scotland’s Yew Tree Heritage Initiative (SYTHI) aims to record the yew population in Scotland to raise awareness of it and improve its protection because it is at risk. We share with you our passion for yew trees, and hope you enjoy exploring and deepening your own connection with them.
Botantists puzzle over how to classify it, dendrochronologists struggle to age it, artists get inspired by it, cultural myths and esoteric concepts hold it at the centre. It has provided a sense of haven, peace and stillness, and a symbol of resilience for countless people.