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A small tree 20 to 30, rarely 50 to 70 ft high, the trunk clothed with thin reddish brown bark; branchlets slender, winter buds clothed with loose yellowish, pointed scales. Leaves 1⁄4 to 2⁄3 in. long, 1⁄16 in. wide, linear, rather abruptly narrowed at the apex to a fine point; dark green above, paler green beneath, arranged in two opposite horizontally spreading rows and persisting four or five years. Fruit as in T. baccata.
Native of western N. America from S. Alaska to California, nowhere frequent; introduced in 1854. This yew is rare in cultivation, the form so-called being usually a form of T. baccata. On the other hand, the yews differ so little from each other in essential points that it may easily be lost among the numerous forms of common yew.
A specimen in the National Pinetum, Bedgebury, Kent, measures 13 × 31⁄4 ft (1985).