How toxic are Nova Japanese Yue

Asked September 22, 2017, 9:54 AM EDT

Our Townhome Association is going through a major landscape renovation. We have planted 4 Nova Japanese Yue and just learned they can be toxic to humans and pets. We can remove them easily if we do it now. How much of a real danger are they? Or would people an dogs have to ingest entire branches to be in danger? Will they become a real issue to people with tree allergies? Hopefully you can answer soon as we have to have a decision by Monday Thanks, Susan Vikse

Hennepin County Minnesota

1 Response

All yew are very toxic and the amount of a fatal dose depends on body weight and overall health, The difference in toxicity between species of yew is not great enough to matter in your decision. The relative toxicity of Japanese yew is not listed however all in the species are toxic enough to be a hazard if ingested. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taxine Elderly dogs and pups will die after eating less than a robust dog. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taxus_cuspidata Yews have a bitter taste and are usually avoided. They are an attractive landscape plant, widely used, and poisoning’s are very rare among humans. Horses and livestock are the most frequent ictems of yew poisoning. https://academic.oup.com/jat/article/36/1/36/889513/Fatal-poisoning-with-Taxus-baccata-Quantification Their pollen can trigger asthma but it is not a common allergy among humans. Ash, maple, Russian olive, cottonwood are much common allergies. Yews are so common yours will not make any difference to someone who is allergic to them. It is the berries that are most toxic and it does not take many berries to make a fatal dose. If you do not want any poisonous plants in your landscape the yews should be removed. They do not taste good, poisoning is very rare and they are widely used so risk is low but not zero. There is a lot of information online about poisonous plants and also on Wikipedia if you would like more information before deciding what to do.