Skip to Navigation Youtube Instagram

" The world is mud-luscious

and puddle-wonderful "


Save Ancient Yew

June 16th, 2015

A call for help from Fred Hageneder’s website

Call to help save an ancient yew tree in France

the hollow trunk of the chapel tree. © Wim Peeters

The small village of La Haye-du-Routot (Dept. Eure) is famous for its two ancient yew trees. One has a Mary shrine inside its hollow trunk, the other has a door leading into a small chapel inside the tree.

In autumn 2013, a whole section of the crown of the chapel tree was dying and the leaves turning brown. The analysis by the SNS Multilab Rouen revealed the extraordinary high amount of 14 mg/kg of glyphosate in the leaves. Glyphosate is a weed killer that usually does not harm trees because it acts only via the green parts of a plant. The only way to create symptoms like on this tree is to either spray the green branches or drill a whole into a main root and inject the poison.

Reports reached the Ancient Yew Group (AYG) that this intentional poisoning was most probably done by a man whose garden neighbours the churchyard. Local police did visit him but rather reluctantly, with the well-known inertia of ‘oh well, it’s just a tree’.

The good news, at least: Local authorities have decided not to take down the tree ‘because it’s dying’, but to give it time to regenerate.

Luckily, a local initiative was formed, Les Amis des Ifs (‘friends of the Yews’), which has since been organizing various events around the tree, to create awareness of their unique tree treasure.

The initiative has now entered this yew into the national vote for France’s Tree of the Year. And, quite surprising, the website of the jury seems to accept votes from outside France as well.

The idea of this call to action is that the perpetrator (and the local police) shall see just how many eyes are watching them now! Times have changed, wake up!

Vote here to help save the ancient yew tree of La Haye-du-Routot.

52 Responses to “Save Ancient Yew”

  1. This sacred tree needs to be venerated, protected and saved, and the perpetrator who poisoned her must be watched and punished for this crime against nature and a sacred altar. And Monsanto and its deadly poisons, including the Glyphosate referenced here, needs to be banished from all countries now!


  3. Hi – please save this beautiful tree – The Yew variety has some of the most amazing specimens throughout the world and it would be a shame to see this most beautiful tree destroyed. Having visited one of our most awesome Yews in Crowhurst in Kent I realise what these trees have to give to a persons spiritual well being as well as being a truly great sight. Thank you

  4. I openly support the survival of trees on our planet… They are simply another living wonderful species and without them we wouldn’t be able to breathe!… Please respect them x

  5. Just to say how really easy it is to vote on that page – you just click and the number goes up by one! No logging in, putting email addresses or anything like that.

  6. This tree must be preserved, and nursed back to health. It is beyond belief that anyone could intentionally do it harm. The perpetrator should be shammed, and his garden taken from him and returned to nature. This ancient tree is sacred and should be honored in the most public way possible. .

  7. I just voted for something entirely in French which I have no understanding of but it was next to the picture of the yew tree so I’m assuming it’s all good!

  8. If you don’t protect animals and plants you will not protect human beings, then we, (human beeings) depend on them and from a healthy earth. When trees dies we will all die.

  9. Please keep this treasure of a tree. It is a landmark that would bring people from across the miles to visit your town and spend their money there. And what lovely history this tree offers us all. These green parts of the world are fading due to greed and carelessness. Act in favor of preserving these sacred spots and you will act in wisdom and grace.

  10. Cet arbre est un trésor. Il faut le sauver pour les générations futures.

  11. Save that tree! It should be marked as an Historic Site because of it’s age and that little chapel. That’s unique.

  12. A Yew like this is a sacred, national treasure. Take pride in this treasure and protect it. Trees will save the world.

  13. please save the tree and let the culprit pay by working in a garden for a year at least so he can learn to appreciate plants and trees.

  14. All life is equally important, despite their species. Protect this treasured yew!

    • Save this wonderfull tree, and let that selfish bastard pay for this horribel action

  15. What a terrible situation, as a woodcarver, I understand the need to have supplies, but trying to kill one of our most important trees is wrong. H|.

  16. Have some respect for this ancient giant. Trees are our air and this one has provided a lot of air over the centuries. Prosecute the old fool that tried to kill it.

  17. This Yew tree has seen thousands of lives come and go, and it is hubris on the part of the poisoner to think he is more important than this heritage tree.
    Stop the poison. Let the tree live.

  18. Signed and shared your link!
    It’s such a beautiful tree, praying that they will save it x

Comments are closed.