"There has been much heated discussion and many opinions expressed as to why the Yew is so often found in churchyards. Some say it is the deep-dark green, almost eerie and shady presence of the tree. Other say because it is the tree of death, due to its poisonous chemistry, or that it was put in churchyards, where it would not be accessible to life-stock to grow wood for longbows.
Christian scholars have associated it with Christ as 'the tree of the cross' or with the theme of resurrection. However, the evidence is now overwhelming that the Yew was the archetype of "The Tree of Life" to people all over Europe eons before Christ was born.
A tree of the Yew family (which is itself at least 200 million years old) is the one living creature who, 'barring acts of God or man', is biologically able to live indefinitely: forever!"
- British Trees: The Yew.