Mountain hemlocks are coniferous trees found across North America’s Pacific Coast.
|Scientific Name||Tsuga mertensiana|
|Other Names||Hemlock spruce, black hemlock|
Size: 66-131 ft (20-40 m)
Trunk Diameter: 79 in (2 m)
Needles (Leaves): ¼-1 in (7-25 mm) long and 1⁄32–1⁄16 in (1-1.5 mm) in breadth, with a blunt tip, and soft texture, glossy and yellow-green to bluish-green
Bark: Gray, thin, and furrowed
Cones: Small, purple, cylindrical
Seeds: Reddish-brown with a slender, pink-brown wing
|Distribution||Nevada, California, Oregon, Montana, Idaho, Washington and Alaska in the US, and British Columbia in Canada|
|Habitat||Found in snowy and cold subalpine habitats at elevations of 4,000-7,000 ft|
|Growing Conditions||Summer Conditions: Grows quicker in summer
Winter Conditions: Requires winters that are mild to cold
Rainfall: Needs high amount of rainfall
Light Requirements: Full sun but shade tolerant
Soil: Coarse, loose, well-drained soils with enough moisture
|Diseases & Pests||Hemlock-willow rust, dwarf mistletoe, black stain root disease, red heart rot, hemlock sawfly, pine spittlebug, green velvet looper, western blackheaded budworm, etc.|
|Propagation||By seeds and cuttings|
|Seedling Development||Germination happens easily|
|Wildlife Value||Offers a nesting site to many birds like the great horned owl, great gray owl, common raven, hairy woodpecker, common flicker, and many more|
|Uses||As an ornamental tree, also used to make small dimension lumber and pulp|
|IUCN Conservation Status||Least Concern|
- Karl Mertens, after whom the tree’s Latin name comes from, collected the first specimens in the late 1820s.
- The two most popular cultivars of the mountain hemlock are the ‘Blue Star’ and ‘Glauca.’
Published on July 5th 2017 by Sudipto Chakrabarti under Hemlock.
Article was last reviewed on 5th December 2022.
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