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The many horticultural varieties of yews differ primarily in growth habit. Yew trees grow slowly but are long-lived and only moderately susceptible to attack by pests.
Yew wood is hard, fine-grained, and heavy, with white or creamy sapwood and amber to brown heartwood. The lumber was once popular for cabinetwork, implements, and archery bows; it is used more today for carved articles and turnery