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Yew

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Artwork by Unknown
Yew
Rarity: Uncommon
Primary Use: Bow Staves, Carvings, Lutes, and Turned Objects
Region: Temperate Forests

Characteristics

Yew is a uniquely elastic softwood with a durability and strength more akin to most hardwoods. The very soft, pale sapwood of the tree comes in a thin layer, the width of a finger or less. The heartwood is a deeper orange color, and is less elastic, but highly resistant to compression. These dual layers make it possible for yew to be crafted into some of the best bow staves possible from a mundane wood. Most parts of the tree are considered toxic, and care should be taken not to ingest, or allow the skin to be irritated by sap and sawdust while working.

Workability

Yew is an easy wood to work overall, though it’s not uncommon to have many knots to work around. Glues and finishes take well to the wood, and it takes well to being turned on a lathe.

General Use

Yew is a remarkably flexible wood while still remaining durable. This makes it a premium wood for use as bow staves, lattices, chair backs, musical instruments, and any application that requires bending a solid piece of wood. It is also prized for the ease of turning pieces on a lathe, making it a common choice for walking sticks, canes, quarterstaffs and more.