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Les's fascinating article about Yew

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Curt Fuller
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Les's fascinating article about Yew

Postby Curt Fuller » Fri Sep 30, 2016 8:15 pm

Les, what a fascinating article on the Yew tree! I've read it twice now and I think I'll go back and read it again. I had no idea of the historical significance of the tree. We have Yew that grows here but only as an ornamental yard shrub. I love the photos and stories of the ancient trees. Thanks for sharing your knowledge of an incredible tree,

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Steve Schlumpf
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Re: Les's fascinating article about Yew

Postby Steve Schlumpf » Mon Oct 03, 2016 4:13 pm

Les - you did a great job on writing this! The wood is interesting but I found the history of your area even more captivating! Nice work!
Steve

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Tom Sherman
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Re: Les's fascinating article about Yew

Postby Tom Sherman » Sat Oct 08, 2016 7:25 pm

Quite the interesting article Les, I had no idea of the rich history of this tree. Well done.

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Mike Cruz
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Re: Les's fascinating article about Yew

Postby Mike Cruz » Fri Nov 04, 2016 7:26 am

Just got a chance to read this article. Well done, Les! And as Curt said, around here, they are just ornamental shrubs. I've got about 5 sections that are the first foot of the roots and first foot of the branches sitting around. I've made one HF roughout so far, and have to say that it is quite pretty. I can only imagine what is lurking inside those great trees!
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Mike Stafford
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Re: Les's fascinating article about Yew

Postby Mike Stafford » Thu Dec 01, 2016 12:35 pm

When my son was living in England he sent me a few sticks of yew which I used for boxes. It is an interesting turning wood and will let you know quickly if you are scraping instead of cutting by letting out an ear piercing screech. It is a beautiful wood.

I knew it was used for bows. I used to be involved in archery and like everything I do I researched the library to find as much information as I could on the subject. If I remember correctly, there have been some scientific analyses/examinations of the bone structures of the bowmen who used the great long bows of the day. The strongest of these bows were said to have draw weights of 200 pounds. I don't know if you have ever tried to pull a bow with just a 100 pound draw weight but let me tell you it takes some real strength to hold it on target. The results were interesting in that the forearm bones on these long bowmen were almost 50% larger in diameter than the average man of the day. They all looked like Popeye!

Another little known fact related to the toxicity of yew: It is well known that it is dangerous to ingest the dust from this wood. But it is was recently discovered that everyone who played the lute made from this wood during the middle ages is now dead.

Les, a fabulously well written and fascinating article. It seems I recall that a great many of the long bowmen of the olden days were Welsh. Why would that be?
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Steve Schlumpf
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Re: Les's fascinating article about Yew

Postby Steve Schlumpf » Thu Dec 01, 2016 5:04 pm

Mike Stafford wrote:it is was recently discovered that everyone who played the lute made from this wood during the middle ages is now dead.

:roflmao:
Got me again Mike!
Steve

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Les Symonds
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Re: Les's fascinating article about Yew

Postby Les Symonds » Thu Dec 01, 2016 5:12 pm

Hi Mike...and thanks for your reply. It seems that there is no end to the amount of information that can be discovered this amazing timber.
Mike Stafford wrote:... It seems I recall that a great many of the long bowmen of the olden days were Welsh. Why would that be?

The best answer that I can give to that, is that in South Wales there was a community living around the village of Llantrisant (I was born and brought up within that community) where the use of the longbow as a tactical weapon was first developed. The bowmen of Llantrisant formed an essential wing of the Welsh army, led by Owain Glyndwr, in the conflict between the Welsh and the English during the Anglo-Norman invasion of Wales. When Wales was finally overcome, many of our bowmen were conscripted into King Edward's English/Welsh army in its push north to overcome the Scottish people. Perhaps, however, the epitome of the skills of the Welsh bowmen was experienced at the Battle of Agincourt, when the British troops were vastly outnumbered by the French, yet were the victors.

Les

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Les Symonds
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Re: Les's fascinating article about Yew

Postby Les Symonds » Thu Dec 01, 2016 5:14 pm

Mike Stafford wrote:...But it is was recently discovered that everyone who played the lute made from this wood during the middle ages is now dead....

Likewise, Mike, it is said that hard work never killed anybody, yet i know this not to be true. My great, great, great grandfather was renowned for being an industrious, hard working man. He is dead!

Les ;)


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