Plant ID forum: Do These Evergreens Look OK To You?

Views: 470, Replies: 9 » Jump to the end
Name: Abbey
Eastern New York State (Zone 6a)
Bookworm Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Garden Photography Garden Art Birds Region: New York
Herbs Container Gardener Annuals Dog Lover Butterflies Plant Lover: Loves 'em all!
Image
Garden10
Mar 30, 2017 12:30 PM CST
I need your reassurance, please. I inherited two evergreens when I moved here, and a wildlife biologist who was helping me with a problem asked me if I had any toxic yews on my property -- huh? I found out that the yews that I grew up with, the ones with the red berry with the hole on the end and the visible seed inside, are toxic to many forms of wildlife as well as people. Never knew anything about it, he told me because I have deer in this area. And he was adamant that if I did have any, I need to get them out pronto and then use Roundup to get rid of the root. Well, I wouldn't use Roundup if it meant peace on earth, but I took his point and was surprised how vehement he was, not his natural demeanor. Well, I don't have any of those, and I'm thinking they are the only kind that are trouble, but since this is new to me, I was hoping you folks would look at a picture of the two I have on the property and let me know if they are OK, and, since life is for learning, if you could tell me what kind they are? It would set my mind at ease. I'm not doing anything with the front of the property except mulching, there's a septic tank there, that's new for me, and underground cables and I'd just rather concentrate on the back. Thank you!
Thumb of 2017-03-30/Garden10/3498e2


Thumb of 2017-03-30/Garden10/a29c1c

"Every now and then I leave the book on the seat and go and have a refreshing potter among my flower beds from which I return greatly benefited, and with a more just conception of what is worth bothering about, and what is not." The Solitary Summer -- Elizabeth von Arnim
Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Keeper of Poultry Farmer Roses Raises cows
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
porkpal
Mar 30, 2017 12:47 PM CST
I am not very educated about evergreens, but I am quite sure those are not toxic. The first looks a bit like a blue spruce and the second could be arborvitae or some type of juniper - both okay.
Porkpal
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Annuals
Region: Canadian Keeps Horses Dog Lover Plant Identifier Garden Sages
Image
sooby
Mar 30, 2017 12:48 PM CST
The top one looks like a spruce. I'm not sure about the other one but neither are yew. I'll suggest moving this question to the Plant ID forum. But just to add that deer are said not to be nearly as susceptible to yew poisoning as are livestock and reportedly frequently browse on it.
Name: Abbey
Eastern New York State (Zone 6a)
Bookworm Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Garden Photography Garden Art Birds Region: New York
Herbs Container Gardener Annuals Dog Lover Butterflies Plant Lover: Loves 'em all!
Image
Garden10
Mar 30, 2017 1:19 PM CST
Sorry, I didn't mean to post in the wrong place, I'm new. I'm sure it's not the first mistake I've made and am also reasonably sure it won't be the last, so please bear with me! The gentleman who helped me lives in Idaho and says they've had more than 200 yew poisonings among wild animals so far this year, and my research showed they are poisonous to domestic animals and humans as well, particularly kids. We used to squish the berries between our fingers when we were kids. And I've always been surprised that the mayonnaise and bologna sandwiches that had been sitting in a basket on the beach for hours before we ate them didn't kill us!! Thanks porkpal, it does look like arbor vitae but it's not shaped like one. But it's a relief to know they are OK, thanks so much!
"Every now and then I leave the book on the seat and go and have a refreshing potter among my flower beds from which I return greatly benefited, and with a more just conception of what is worth bothering about, and what is not." The Solitary Summer -- Elizabeth von Arnim
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Annuals
Region: Canadian Keeps Horses Dog Lover Plant Identifier Garden Sages
Image
sooby
Mar 30, 2017 2:40 PM CST
Don't worry, it was not a mistake nor in the wrong place, just that with a more difficult ID the Plant ID forum should get you more answers. Conifers like your second picture are a little more difficult to identify.

From what I found on the web, it is specifically Japanese yew that is a concern for wildlife there in Idaho. So it may depend on the species of yew and the species of deer. I knew English yew was poisonous to livestock (and humans) because I used to have horses in the UK and it was something we looked out for, but from what I've read many deer species can and do eat yew.

For example from the USDA Forest Service fact sheet for Pacific yew, Taxus brevifolia:
https://www.fs.fed.us/database...

"IMPORTANCE TO LIVESTOCK AND WILDLIFE :
Pacific yew provides important food and cover for many wildlife species. Old-growth grand fir/Pacific yew forests are often considered
critical moose winter habitat.

Browse: Many wild ungulates feed on Pacific yew including deer, elk,
and moose. In parts of northern Idaho, it is a preferred
winter moose browse. Although Pacific yew browse may be eaten
during all seasons, use is particularly heavy in fall, winter, and
spring.....

Pacific yew is reportedly toxic to domestic livestock, but
conclusive evidence of toxicity is lacking. The closely related
English yew (Taxus baccata) is poisonous to cattle, horses, sheep,
rabbits, and man. Some researchers report that Pacific yew is
similarly toxic, particularly when cut, piled, and allowed to rot.
However, in many areas livestock appear to browse branches "with
impunity"."
Name: Abbey
Eastern New York State (Zone 6a)
Bookworm Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Garden Photography Garden Art Birds Region: New York
Herbs Container Gardener Annuals Dog Lover Butterflies Plant Lover: Loves 'em all!
Image
Garden10
Mar 31, 2017 8:02 AM CST
Hi sooby, I'm sorry if I confused you, the gentleman who was helping me is in Idaho, I'm in NY State. He has a site and he answered an SOS from me -- very long story, slightly short, my neighbors have destroyed 12 feet of my vinyl fencing by smashing into it overnight on three different occasions, but the local cops keep insisting it's deer so they can get back to runnin' on Dunkin'. While I was in touch with him, he answered other questions for me about my new place -- I'm not in a position to be responsible for individual animals anymore (how I envy you your horses and dogs!!) so I want to make my yard as hospitable to wild animals as possible without being a jerk about it. That's how he and I got onto other subjects.

The yew in question here is Taxus baccata, which is as far as I can take all of this because I'm conditioned to expect a slap from a nun whenever I use Latin. I can identify that plant but he gave a general description of poisonous yews which apparently took in what you researched for me, and I got nervous. The poisonous kind is as common as dirt in this general area and I didn't know it was poisonous, so I was afraid that might hold true for the other evergreens on my property. Thank You!
"Every now and then I leave the book on the seat and go and have a refreshing potter among my flower beds from which I return greatly benefited, and with a more just conception of what is worth bothering about, and what is not." The Solitary Summer -- Elizabeth von Arnim
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Annuals
Region: Canadian Keeps Horses Dog Lover Plant Identifier Garden Sages
Image
sooby
Mar 31, 2017 8:23 AM CST
Are you sure the yews there are Taxus baccata as opposed to Taxus canadensis (Canadian or American yew)? From what I understand it's rare for Taxus baccata to escape from cultivation, but Taxus canadensis is native and eaten by deer, see:

https://gobotany.newenglandwil...
Name: Abbey
Eastern New York State (Zone 6a)
Bookworm Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Garden Photography Garden Art Birds Region: New York
Herbs Container Gardener Annuals Dog Lover Butterflies Plant Lover: Loves 'em all!
Image
Garden10
Mar 31, 2017 8:45 AM CST
DON'T HIT ME!!!!!!!! Big Grin

The taxus baccata were in Jersey, their berries were not round but more olive-shaped, if you will. I may be splitting half a hair, but that's how the difference looked to me. The house I grew up in and those in the neighborhood had a lot of them -- it looked like a regular suburban neighborhood, but it was actually a development built in the 1920s, and as I said, in Jersey, so the shared landscaping features undoubtedly fell off a truck somewhere before they were acquired. Where I am now is more rural. But either way, I'm so glad that I don't have any of that on my property, thank you!!
"Every now and then I leave the book on the seat and go and have a refreshing potter among my flower beds from which I return greatly benefited, and with a more just conception of what is worth bothering about, and what is not." The Solitary Summer -- Elizabeth von Arnim
Name: Rick Webb
southeast Pennsylvania (Zone 6b)
Image
ILPARW
Nov 20, 2017 8:54 PM CST
The first evergreen is a very dwarf globe Colorado Spruce and the second is a Pfitzer Juniper, not yews. Deer happily eat yew foliage in the winter and it does not hurt them. All parts of yews are toxic to humans if eaten, except for the red aril, but the seed in the aril is also toxic. Roundup won't work with that plant, and just digging up the crown will kill a conifer.
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
Image
DaisyI
Nov 20, 2017 9:29 PM CST
Welcome! ILPARW

Can you fill in your location? Please?
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

Webmaster: osnnv.org

« Garden.org Homepage
« Back to the top
« Forums List
« Plant ID forum
Only the members of the Members group may reply to this thread.

Member Login:

Username:

Password:

[ Join now ]

Today's site banner is by bloominholes2fill and is called "Hemerocallis Daylily 'Wild and Wonderful'"