Wind-distorted yew tree on Cumbrian hillside

Wind-distorted yew tree on Cumbrian hillside

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Credit: DR JEREMY BURGESS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Wind-distorted yew tree. A wind-distorted yew tree on a rocky hillside. The tree appears bowed to the left as though blown over. This is due to exposure to prevailing winds that blast and dehydrate young growth each spring. The yew (Taxus baccata) grows wild in hilly broadleaved woods throughout Europe, and can live up to 2000 years old. The whole plant is poisonous (apart from part of its fruit) due to the presence of a heart-paralysing compound called taxine. According to folklore, anyone who sleeps under a yew tree drifts off into eternal sleep; hence its folk-name, the "tree of death", and its popularity as an ornamental tree in graveyards. Photographed in the Lake District, Cumbria, UK.

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Keywords: climate, extreme, meteorology, severe storms, taxus baccata, tree, type, weather, wind damage, wind distorted, yew, yew tree

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