Taxus brevifolia, the Pacific yew or western yew, is a conifer native to the Pacific Northwest of North America. It ranges from southernmost Alaska south to central California, mostly in the Pacific Coast Ranges.
The Pacific yew is a small to medium-sized evergreen tree, growing 10–15 m tall and with a trunk up to 50 cm diameter, rarely more. In some instances, trees with heights in excess of 20 m occur in parks and other protected areas, quite often in gullies. The tree is extremely slow growing, and has a habit of rotting from the inside, creating hollow forms. This makes it difficult and sometimes impossible to make accurate rings counts to determine a specimen's true age. Pacific yew grows in varying types of environments; however, in drier environments it is mostly limited to stream side habitats, whereas in moist environments it will grow up onto slopes and ridgetops. Pacific yew is shade tolerant; however, it can also grow in the sun.