One of the great virtues of Yews is that, although they thrive in full sun, they also can handle shade. Few needled evergreens are this adaptable. They do well in normal soil, preferring it to be moist and slightly alkaline to slightly acid (pH 6.0 to 6.5). They object to soil that is too acid, therefore they are not happy among flourishing hollies, rhododendrons and azaleas. They have little tolerance for wet boggy soil, which causes their needles to turn brown in protest.
Stake newly planted Yew trees only if they are at risk of being blown over or uprooted before they get established. Where prevailing winds are a potential problem, stake newly planted shrubs for up to a year.