Canadian Forest Service Publications

Propagation and growth of Pacific Yew (Taxus brevifolia Nutt.) cuttings. 1997. Mitchell, A.K. Northwest Science 71(1): 56-63.

Year: 1997

Issued by: Pacific Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 4773

Language: English

Availability: PDF (download)

Mark record


Vegetative propagation techniques for Pacific yew (Taxus brevifolia Nutt.) are little known and could be useful for the management of this long-lived understory species whether for conservation, habitat restoration or for the production of Taxol® (paclitaxel), a promising anti-cancer agent. In this study, cuttings from natural stands of Pacific yew on Vancouver Island were used to test three components of a successful vegetative propagation program; nursery culture, rooting success, and shoot growth and orientation of rooted cuttings. Cultural studies showed that Pacific yew cuttings could be effectively propagated but success rates may not meet expectations derived from studies of other Taxus species. Rooting studies showed that cuttings from male and female Pacific yew could be rooted equally successfully. No significant differences were found in rooting percentages of parent trees from 6 Vancouver Island populations. Clonal variation in rooting was significant within those populations (87.5% maximum, 6.4% minimum). Shoot growth of rooted cuttings increased from 3.4 cm in the first year after transplanting to 15.7 cm in the second year. All the cuttings had branch-like orientation. Results showed that a Pacific yew conservation program for the Vancouver Island Region based on vegetative propagation of representative genotypes is feasible.