Yews are poisonous to animals and humand and they are often planted in church yards to symbolize both death and eternity. A Yew tree will live for at least nine hundred years.
Their leaves and hedge clippings have been collected and made into cancer fighting drugs. This can be done artificially nowadays in a laboratory.
I love them for their architectural shape and to me they are Europe's equivalent to the giant Redwood found in north America.
They say that you plant a tree for your grandchildren to enjoy. The Franciscans planted trees for many future generations.