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A tree 120 ft high in the wild, of cedar-like habit, with spreading branches pendulous at their extremities; young shoots downy on the upper side. Leaves linear, 1⁄2 to 11⁄3 in. long, 1⁄16 to 1⁄12 in. wide, tapered at the apex, shortly stalked, minutely toothed, dark green above, with the midrib deeply sunk, the lower surface silvery white, being almost entirely covered with stomata. Cones not stalked, egg-shaped, 3⁄4 to 1 in. long; scales roundish, downy at the base outside.
Native of the Himalaya from Kumaon eastward, extending into S.E. Tibet, Burma and probably China; according to Loudon it was introduced in 1838 but there were many other sendings in the next few decades. In the interior of Sikkim and bordering parts of Nepal it reaches a huge size in the moister type of forest – Hooker found it 120 ft high and 28 ft in girth. Needing a long frost-free growing season, it is only adapted to the milder parts of the British Isles, and even there large trees are rare. The specimen at Boconnoc in Cornwall, mentioned by Elwes and Henry in 1906, measured 77 × 153⁄4 ft in 1957 but has since died. Of the other examples mentioned in previous editions the tree at Dropmore in Buckinghamshire is dead, but the specimen at Fota, Co. Cork, still exists; planted in 1855 it measures 62 × 91⁄2 ft (1966). Other trees measured recently are: Hergest Croft, Heref., 38 × 3 ft (1961); Rowallane, Co. Down, 48 × 63⁄4 ft (1976); Powerscourt, Co. Wicklow, Eire, 52 × 51⁄4 ft (1975); Mount Usher, Co. Wicklow, Eire, 51 × 61⁄4 ft (1975).
Near London T. dumosa rarely reaches tree size, but is sometimes seen as an attractive shrub. A two-stemmed tree at Borde Hill in Sussex measures 30 × 21⁄2 ft (1958).
T. yunnanensis (Franch.) Mast. Abies yunnanensis Franch. – Little is known in cultivation of this ally of T. dumosa, described from specimens collected in Yunnan by the French missionary Delavay and also occurring in W. Szechwan, where Wilson saw it but did not send seed, so far as is known. A plant at Borde Hill, Sussex, in Warren Wood, was identified by A. B. Jackson as belonging to this species. It was raised from Forrest 10293 and measures 35 × 31⁄2 ft (1974). Forrest’s field-specimen under 10293 is T. chinensis, but the plant in question is definitely not that species.
specimens: Borde Hill, Sussex, 33 × 23⁄4 ft and other stems (1981); Tregrehan, Cornwall, 75 × 81⁄2 ft (1979); Stonefield, Argyll, 75 × 63⁄4 + 6 ft (1981); Castlewellan, Co. Down, 52 × 61⁄2 + 61⁄4 ft (1982); Powerscourt, Co. Wicklow, Eire, 50 × 51⁄2 ft (1980); Kilmacurragh, C. Wicklow, Eire, 72 × 81⁄2 + 81⁄2 ft (1980).