Posted: 25/12/2015 at 09:35
Taxus baccata is the yew that bows are made from. There aren't many taxus species but if you're creating woodland in England T baccata has to be the one.
Don't confuse 'species' with 'variety' or 'cultivar'. With the exception of Taxus cuspidata, (?spelling), aka japanese yew, everything you see in the GC is a variation of T. baccata. All those upright, yellow edged, spreading ones, they're all T. baccata.
A straight trunk free of lower branches can be created by cutting the bottom ones off. It's not how a yew grows naturally. It's not that slow growing but don't be impatient, there's no shortcut to plant growth.
Not sure about heavy clay, I haven't tried yew in that