Yew is the famed wood from which English longbows were once made. It is now also used for furniture, decorative turning, interior and exterior joinery, rustic furniture and the bent parts of Windsor chairs. Its attractive qualities, including magnificent burls, make it highly sought after in veneer form for cabinetwork, marquetry and panelling.
The near-white sapwood is distinct from the heartwood, which is usually golden orange-brown and is often streaked with mauve and darker brown, with patches of dark purple. Clusters of ingrown bark and tiny knots are frequent. Though typically straight-grained, yew is very often wavy, curly and irregular, with a medium, even texture. All these features make it a very attractive wood.