Generally, there is a close connection between the anatomy of wood on the microscopic/ macroscopic level and its mechanical characteristics. Yew (
L.) and spruce (
[L.] Karst.) are gymnosperms with wide differences in their microscopic structure (fig. 1) and therefore in their fracture behavior and mechanical properties. Having been object of countless studies, the individual mechanical properties of spruce wood are best-known. In contrast to spruce wood, for the high dense yew wood only few reference values are available, even though it is known for its extraordinary toughness and its strength.