DR JEREMY BURGESS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR JEREMY BURGESS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
The base of an Irish yew, Taxus baccata "Fastigiata", growing in a churchyard in Norfolk, UK. The picture shows the regrowth of shoots from dormant buds. The stems were cut back with a chain saw in January to about 15cm from the ground, a technique known as coppicing. The photograph was taken six months later. New shoots have developed from dormant buds below the level of the cuts. Yew trees are very long-lived, and have many dormant buds along the stems, This enables them to survive drastic cutting without long term damage. Yews can be shaped at will by pruning (as in the craft of topiary), and old trees that have outgrown their space, as in this chuchyard in Norfolk UK, will grow back after being cut almost to the ground.
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