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 2003, Virginia Tech Forestry Department, all rights reserved.
Photos courtesy: Michael Aust, John Baitey, Ctaude L. Brown, Bruce Bongarten,
Susan D. Day, Edward C. Jensen, Richard E. Kreh, Larry H. McCormick, Alex X.
Niemiera, John A. Peterson, Oana Popescu, John R. Seiter, David W. Smith, Kim
C. Steiner, James E. Ward, Rodney E. Will, Shepard M. Zedaker.
Text written by: John R. Seiter, Edward C. Jensen, Or John A. Peterson