Tsuga heterophylla (Raf.) Sarg.

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Credits

Article from Bean's Trees and Shrubs Hardy in the British Isles

Recommended citation
'Tsuga heterophylla' from the website Trees and Shrubs Online (treesandshrubsonline.org/articles/tsuga/tsuga-heterophylla/). Accessed 2019-12-09.

Genus

Common Names

  • Western Hemlock

Synonyms

  • Abies heterophylla Raf.
  • T. albertiana (A. Murr.) Sénécl.
  • Abies albertiana A. Murr.
  • T. mertensiana Carr., in part
  • Pinus mertensiana sens . Parl., not Bong.

Glossary

apex
(pl. apices) Tip. apical At the apex.
branchlet
Small branch or twig usually less than a year old.
linear
Strap-shaped.
midrib
midveinCentral and principal vein in a leaf.

References

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Credits

Article from Bean's Trees and Shrubs Hardy in the British Isles

Recommended citation
'Tsuga heterophylla' from the website Trees and Shrubs Online (treesandshrubsonline.org/articles/tsuga/tsuga-heterophylla/). Accessed 2019-12-09.

A tree up to 230 ft high in its native forests, with a slender, lightly branched crown; trunk cylindrical, rarely exceeding 15 ft in girth; bark furrowed, reddish brown; young shoots downy. Leaves shortly stalked, set all round the branchlet, although more crowded on the upper side, linear, curved, 12 to 1 in. long, 120 to 116 in. wide, rounded at the apex, margins not toothed, sometimes grey-green, sometimes conspicuously blue-green. There are inconspicuous lines of stomata on both surfaces. Cones without stalks, rich purple when young, becoming red-brown; oval-cylindric, 112 to 3 in. long, 12 to 34 in. thick.

Native of western N. America, with its main area on or near the Pacific from Alaska to northernmost California, but also occurring in the Rocky Mountains from S.E. British Columbia to N. Idaho and N.W. Montana. It was described in 1832 from a specimen collected during the pioneering trans-continental journey of Lewis and Clark; and introduced to Scotland by John Jeffrey in 1852 for the Oregon Association. He sent only a small bag of seed, received in August 1852, but larger quantities were sent by the British Columbia Expedition in 1861-2.

Few conifers combine elegance and usefulness to such a degree as the western hemlock. In the right conditions it gains height at the rate of 2 to 3 ft a year and quickly makes a beautiful specimen when not crowded, but one needing plenty of room owing to the wide spread of its lower branches. It also yields timber of good quality and has been used in Britain to some extent as a plantation tree, especially since the Second World War. Like its companions in the forests of western N. America it likes a humid climate, and most of the finest specimens in the British Isles are to be found in the Atlantic zone, but it succeeds wherever the soil is not chalky nor inordinately heavy. The Lower Greensand seems to suit it very well, and there are three notable specimens on this formation in the Haslemere district, where the rainfall is higher than the average for S. England. It is tolerant of shade, and was used for under-planting of decrepit deciduous woodland until it was found to be subject to the butt-rot Fomes annosus when grown in these conditions.

The following are some of the many fine specimens measured recently by Alan Mitchell: Scone Palace, Perth, pl. 1866, 126 × 1814 ft (1974); Dupplin Castle, Perths., pl. 1859, 134 × 1212 ft (1970); Murthly Castle, Perths., pl. 1860, 139 × 1234 ft (1970); Abercairney, Perths., pl. 1864, 120 × 1114 ft (1974); Dawyck, Peebl., pl. 1860, 120 × 1112 ft (1970); Strone, Argyll, pl. 1875, 124 × 1434 ft (1976); Benmore, Argyll, 152 × 1314 ft (1976); Cragside, Northumb., 138 × 1234 ft + 1214 ft (1974); Bodnant, Denb., pl. 1887, 131 × 1234 ft (1974); Hafodunos, Denb., pl. c. 1856, 120 × 1414 ft (1978); Drum Manor, Co. Tyrone, 108 × 1834 ft (1976); Stourhead, Wilts, pl. 1871, 130 × 1234 ft (1976); Knightshayes, Devon, 102 × 1214 ft (1970); Honeyhanger, Shottermill, Haslemere, 92 × 13 ft (1971); Grayswood Hill, Haslemere, pl. 1881, 85 × 14 ft (1970); Lythe Hill, Haslemere, 112 × 1212 ft (1969).

From the Supplement (Vol. V)

Owing to an editorial lapse, Mr Bean’s description of T. mertensiana was printed twice – once where it belongs and again under this species, of which the description should read:

A tree up to 200 ft or slightly more in the wild state, of pyramidal habit, with a reddish brown trunk 4 to 6 ft in diameter; young shoots very slender and leafy, downy with intermingled hairs, which are still perceptible on shoots five or six years old. Leaves 14 to 78 in. long, 116 in. or slightly more wide, linear, of uniform width, rounded at the ends, shortly stalked, toothed at the margins, glossy dark green above, the midrib sunken, nearly covered beneath with dull grey-white stomata. Cones not stalked, oblong-conical, 34 to 1 in. long, 12 in. wide before expanding; scales broadly obovate, rounded, often with a minute, velvety down on the outer surface.

specimens: Honeyhanger, nr Haslemere, Surrey, 106 × 1334 ft, 121 × 1134 ft and 123 × 1234 ft (1980); Grayswood Hill, Haslemere, Surrey, pl. 1881, 90 × 15 ft (1982); Lythe Hill, Haslemere, Surrey, 108 × 1314 ft (1977); Wakehurst Place, Sussex, Valley, 132 × 11 ft (1983); Stourhead, Wilts., 130 × 13 ft (1982); Knightshayes, Devon, 111 × 1334 ft (1984); Cotehele House, Cornwall, 115 × 1312 ft (1981); Cragside, Northumb., 138 × 1234 + 1214 ft (1974); Lowther Castle, Cumb., 117 × 16 ft (1979); Bodnant, Gwyn., 44 × 1312 ft (1984).

In Scotland: Scone Palace, Perth, in Avenue, pl. 1866, 141 × 1914 ft and 144 × 1312 ft (1981); Dupplin Castle, Perths., pl. 1859, 147 × 1314 ft and 150 × 1214 ft (1983); Murthly Castle, Perths., pl. 1860, Roman Bridge, 164 × 1314 ft, near Terrace, 167 × 1214 ft and 16 × 1314 ft, East Drive, 144 × 1534 ft (1983); Doune House, Perths., 135 × 1914 ft (1980); Kinfauns Castle, Perths., 144 × 1414 ft (1985); Leny House, Callander, Perths., 150 × 1412 ft, a superb tree (1984); Kirkennan, Kirkcud., 144 × 11 ft (1985); Blairquhan, Ayrs., pl. 1901, 111 × 1112 ft (1983); Castle Milk, Dumfr., 124 × 1434 ft (1984); Dawyck, Peebl., pl. 1860, 121 × 1214 ft (1982); Benmore, Argyll, 167 × 1334 ft (1983); Strone, Argyll, 138 × 1514 ft (1985); Glamis Castle, Angus, 144 × 1334 ft (1981); Cawdor Castle, Nairn, 144 × 1012 ft (1980); Beaufort, Inv., 144 × 1334 ft, a fine tree (1985); Reelig Glen, Inv., 150 × 814 ft (1985); Coul House, E. Ross, 102 × 1634 ft (1982).


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