Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Tsuga heterophylla – Western Hemlock

General Information
Common Name Western Hemlock
Scientific Name Tsuga heterophylla
Sun Tolerance Full Sun
Height up to 83 m (273 ft)
Spread 10 - 15 m (33 - 50 ft)
Growth Rate Fast
Bloom Time Spring
Color Green,
Flower Color Red
Type Tree
Native USA, Asia, Europe.
Kingdom Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
SuperdivisionSpermatophyta – Seed plants
Division Coniferophyta – Conifers
Class Pinopsida
Order Pinales
Family Pinaceae – Pine family
Genus Tsuga  –  Hemlock
Species T. heterophylla
Tsuga heterophylla – Western Hemlock
Tsuga heterophylla commonly known as Western Hemlock is also called by its botanical name of ‘tsuga’. It is a conifer of tranquility and gracefulness, whose light lace-work of innumerable pendent branch-lets, and pendent whip-like leader are making it increasingly well known in Europe. It was introduced by John Jeffrey in 1853 from the Pacific coast of North America. It is a large evergreen tree growing to 50–70 m (165–230 ft) tall, Sometime up to 83 m (273 ft), and with a trunk diameter of up to 2.7 m  (9 ft). It is the largest species of hemlock, with the next largest (Mountain hemlock, T. mertensiana) reaching a maximum of 59 m (194 ft).
The young shoots are tender, drooping at their ends, at first pale yellowish-brown, darkening to reddish-brown. The small buds are brown and ovoid. The irregular needles are 1 – 2 cm long, have almost a round tip and are spread in two ranks in one plane; the upper rank has the shorter needles. Their upper surface is dark green and grooved; their lower is lighter and has two brands of grey stomata on either side of a slight midrib. The new pale green needles which flush in June fringe the edges of all the branches, giving the tree its best appearance. When billowed by the wind the light, almost glaucous, underside of the foliage is exposed in mass. The foliage when crushed has and odor with a supposed resemblance to that of the hemlock plant – hence the name of the tree.
Both sexes of flowers are found on the same tree, but in different parts. The small globular crimson, then yellow male flowers lie at the bases of needles near the tips of shoots. The small females, at first green and later pink or purple, are scaly, and lie at the ends of short, erect twigs. These produce cones about 2 cm long that are egg-shaped and pendent. At first they are green and tinged with crimson; later they have pale brown rounded scales. Small winged seeds are released early in autumn. Empty cones persist on the tree for many months.
The bark is at first russet-brown and smooth except for fine scales. Later it becomes darker and deeply furrowed into scaly ridges. The trunk thickens abruptly at the base, and is somewhat fluted. The wood is pale yellow-brown with a somewhat darker heartwood, fairly strong and of a fine texture. It is used for joinery, box-making, paper pulp and many general purposes.
Forester’s value ‘tsuga’ as a fast producer of heavy volume of timber and as an important underplant – indeed it prefers dappled shade and is difficult to stablish on bare ground.
The Eastern Hemlock, T. Canadensis Carr., is slow-growing and useless as a timber-tree in Europe, but not infrequently planted for ornament.

Tsuga heterophylla – Western Hemlock

Tsuga heterophylla Leaves

Leaves of Western Hemlock

Western Hemlock Leaves

Young Plant of Western Hemlock

Male Flowers of Western Hemlock

Tsuga heterophylla Male Flowers

Tsuga heterophylla – Western Hemlock Male Flowers

Female Cone Western Hemlock Green & Mature

Mature Female Cone Western Hemlock

Tsuga heterophylla – Western Hemlock

Tsuga heterophylla Female Cones

Bark of Western Hemlock

Tsuga heterophylla Bark

Log of Western Hemlock

Trunks of Western Hemlock

Tsuga heterophylla – Western Hemlock as Ornamental Plant

Tsuga heterophylla – Western Hemlock

Tsuga heterophylla – Western Hemlock

Tsuga heterophylla – Western Hemlock

Tsuga heterophylla – Western Hemlock
Video of Western Hemlock:

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