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Taxus (brevifolia)

Tara Luna
USDI NPS - Glacier National Park
West Glacier, Montana 59936
(406) 888-7835

Family Scientific Name: Taxaceae
Family Common Name: Yew family
Scientific Name: Taxus brevifolia Nutt.
Common Name: Pacific yew
Species Code: TAXBRE
Ecotype: Cedar/Hemlock forest, 1100m elev., Avalanche
General Distribution: T. brevifolia occurs in moist forests, from Alaska to Sierran California, east to eastern B.C., Idaho, and northwest Montana.
Propagation Goal: plants
Propagation Method: vegetative
ProductType: Container (plug)
Stock Type: 800 ml containers
Time To Grow: 16 Months
Target Specifications: Stock Type: Container cutting<br> Height: 15 cm<br> Caliper: 8 mm<br> Root System: Firm plug in container.
Propagule Collection: Type of Cutting: Cuttings are collected in mid-May just after leafbud break. Cuttings have 2nd year wood at base.
Propagule Processing: Cuttings are kept moist and under refrigeration prior to pre treatment.
Pre-Planting Treatments: Cutting Treatments: Semi-hardwood stem cuttings with a base of 2nd year wood. Cuttings were 12 cm in length and 8 mm in diameter. 1/3 of leaves are removed and cuttings are treated with 8000 ppm liquid IBA. Cuttings were placed in mist beds with bottom heat at 21C.
Rooting %: 36%
Growing Area Preparation/
Annual Practices for Perennial Crops:
The outdoor mistbed has automatic intermittent mist that is applied at 6 second intervals every 6 minutes. Too frequent misting will result in leaf and stem rot. Misting frequency is increased or decreased according to daily outdoor temperature and wind. Bottom heat is maintained at 21C with heating cables buried 12 cm beneath rooting media. Rooting medium is 50% perlite and 50% sand. Mistbed is covered with shadecloth during rooting.
After cuttings are potted, they are moved to an outdoor shadehouse for 4 weeks. They are later moved to partial sun exposure in the outdoor nursery and are irrigated with Rainbird automatic irrigation system in early morning until containers are thoroughly leached. Average growing season of nursery is from late April after snowmelt until October 15th.
Establishment Phase: Time to Transplant:20 weeks
Cuttings which received greater exposure to direct sun while in the mist bed were the cuttings that rooted and had greatest overall root production.
Roots averaged 9 centimeters in length when removed from mistbed 5 months after treatment.
Length of Establishment Phase: 5 months
Active Growth Phase: Cuttings are lifted from the mist bed in September and potted into 800 ml containers. Active growth continues the following spring after bud break. Cuttings are root tight in containers in September of the second year.
Length of Active Growth Phase: 2 weeks 1st year, 20 weeks 2nd year
Hardening Phase: Irrigation is gradually reduced in September and October. Plants were given one final irrigation prior to winterization.
Length of Hardening Phase: 4 weeks
Harvesting, Storage and Shipping: Total Time To Harvest: 1.4 years
Harvest Date: September of the second year.
Storage Conditions: Overwinter in outdoor nursery under insulating foam cover and snow.
Length of Storage: 5 months
Other Comments: Seed Propagation Method: Direct Seeding, data incomplete.
Source of Seeds: Field collected from plants at Avalanche, Glacier National Park, MT.
Collector/Date: Evans, Luna 10/1/97
Seeds/Kg: 32,000/kg
% Germination: Unknown
%Purity: 100%
Seed Processing: Seed is collected when arils turn dark red. Seeds are tan and hard at maturity. Seeds are hand cleaned; it is important to remove the aril and wash the seed well as the aril may contain inhibitors.
Seed longevity is unknown.
Seed dormancy is classified as morpho-physiological dormancy.
Seed Treatments: 5 month cold moist stratification followed by 5 months of warm stratification.
Germination of other species in this genus occur the following year after sowing. A 90 to 120 warm stratification followed by a 120 to 365 day cold stratification has been suggested for this species.
References: Flora of the Pacific Northwest, Hitchcock and Cronquist, Univ. of Washington Press, 7th printing, 1973.
Seed Germination Theory and Practice, Second Edition, Deno, Norman, published 1993.
Glacier Park Native Plant Nursery Propagation Records, unpublished.
Seeds: Ecology, Biogeography and Evolution of Dormancy and Germination, Baskin and Baskin, Academic Press, 1998.
Seeds of the Woody Plants of the U.S., Agriculture Handbook #450, U.S.F.S., Washington D.C., 1974.


Evans, Jeff. 2008. Propagation protocol for production of Container (plug) Taxus brevifolia Nutt. plants 800 ml containers; USDI NPS - Glacier National Park West Glacier, Montana. In: Native Plant Network. URL: http://NativePlantNetwork.org (accessed 2021/05/11). US Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, National Center for Reforestation, Nurseries, and Genetic Resources.

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