Washington State Tree - Western Hemlock - Tsuga heterophylla

Western Hemlock Pinaceae Tsuga heterophylla

Leaf: Leaves single, linear, and spirally arranged (but somewhat 2-ranked); short (1/4 to 3/4 inches long), flat, and have two distinctly different sizes that alternate on the twig; yellow-green to green above with two white bands below. Leaves have rounded tips and short, but distinct, petioles.

Flower: Monoecious; male cones are tiny, yellow, and occur axillary on previous year's growth; female cones are tiny, purple, and terminal.

Fruit: Small, woody, egg-shaped cones (about 1 inch long) with numerous thin, imbricate scales; pendent, sessile, and terminal; reddish-brown; mature in one season, abundant.

Twig: Slender, flexible, and minutely pubescent, roughened by diagonally-raised and rounded leaf scars.

Bark: Young bark is thin, superficially scaly, and brown to black. On mature trees bark is thin (about 1 inch) with flattened ridges. Inner bark is dark red streaked with purple.

Form: A large evergreen conifer that reaches 200 feet tall and 4 feet in diameter, mature trees have a pyramidal crown and lacy foliage that droops at the terminal ends.

Copyright 2019 Virginia Tech Dept. of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation;
Photos and text by: John Seiler, Edward Jensen, Alex Niemiera, and John Peterson;
Silvics reprinted from Ag Handbook 654; range map source information