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Tsuga mertensiana - (Bong.)Carrière.
                 
Common Name Mountain Hemlock
Family Pinaceae
USDA hardiness 5-7
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Exposed ridges and slopes at high altitudes, often to 3000 metres[82]. The best stands are found in sheltered areas with deep moist well-drained soils, high precipitation and long cold winters[229].
Range Western N. America - Alaska to California.
Edibility Rating  
Other Uses  
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating  
Care
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Full shade Semi-shade Full sun

Summary
Bloom Color: Green, Yellow. Main Bloom Time: Early spring, Late spring, Mid spring. Form: Pyramidal.

Tsuga mertensiana Mountain Hemlock


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Tsuga mertensiana Mountain Hemlock
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Physical Characteristics
 icon of manicon of cone
Tsuga mertensiana is an evergreen Tree growing to 45 m (147ft) by 10 m (32ft) at a medium rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 4. It is in leaf 12-Jan It is in flower in April, and the seeds ripen from Oct to November. The flowers are monoecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but both sexes can be found on the same plant) and are pollinated by Wind.Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in very acid soils.
It can grow in full shade (deep woodland) semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil. It cannot tolerate atmospheric pollution.

Synonyms

Habitats
Woodland Garden Canopy; Hedge;
Edible Uses
Edible Parts: Inner bark.
Edible Uses: Tea.

Inner bark - raw or dried, ground into a powder and then used as a thickening in soups etc or mixed with cereals when making bread[161]. It is best used in the spring[172]. An emergency food, it is only used when all else fails[183]. A herbal tea is made from the young leaves and shoot tips[172, 183].
Medicinal Uses


Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Astringent;  Diaphoretic;  Diuretic;  Poultice.

The bark is astringent, diaphoretic and diuretic[21]. A tea made from the inner bark or twigs is helpful in the treatment of influenza, colds, kidney or bladder problems, and also makes a good enema for treating diarrhoea[21, 257]. It can also be used as a gargle or mouthwash for mouth and throat problems or externally to wash sores and ulcers[21]. The powdered bark can be put into shoes for tender or sweaty feet or for foot odour[21]. A poultice of the chewed leaves has been used to treat burns[257]. The warm gum obtained from the trunks has been used as a dressing on cuts[257].
Other Uses
Dye;  Hedge;  Hedge;  Incense;  Pot-pourri;  Resin;  Tannin;  Wood.

The slightly unripe cones are used in pot-pourri. They retain an attractive scent for several years[200]. Yields a resin similar to Abies balsamea, it is gathered by incisions in the trunk or by boiling the wood[46, 61, 64]. The bark contains 8 - 14% tannin[46, 171]. The inner bark is used according to one report[82]. A brown dye is obtained from the bark[21, 46]. The boughs are steamed or rubbed on furniture and used as a room deodorant and disinfectant[257]. A pitch (called hemlock pitch), is obtained by distillation of the young branches[46]. Tolerant of light trimming, plants can be grown as a tall hedge[29, 81]. Wood - strong[171]. Used for heavy construction[171]. Close-grained, light, soft and weak according to other reports, which go on to say that it is occasionally manufactured into lumber when other wood is not available[82, 229].
Cultivation details
Landscape Uses:Hedge, Aggressive surface roots possible, Screen, Specimen, Woodland garden. An easily grown plant, it thrives best when growing in a deep well-drained soil in the western parts of Britain where it appreciates the higher rainfall[11]. However, it succeeds in most soils and positions, being especially good on acidic sandy soils[81]. Plants are very shade tolerant when young, but need more sunlight as they grow older[81, 200]. Plants are thin and poor when grown in dry or exposed places[200]. Dislikes atmospheric pollution[82]. A very ornamental plant[11], it is slow growing for the first few years, averaging 30cm a year, but older trees, especially in Scottish lowland sites in areas with cool moist summers, are growing rapidly[185]. Trees live 400 - 500 years in the wild[229]. They commence bearing seeds when about 20 - 30 years old, years of high production alternating with years of low production[229]. Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus[200]. Special Features:North American native, Inconspicuous flowers or blooms.
Propagation
Seed - it germinates better if given a short cold stratification[80, 113] and so is best sown in a cold frame in autumn to late winter. It can also be sown in early spring, though it might not germinate until after the next winter. If there is sufficient seed, an outdoor sowing can be made in spring[78]. Pot-grown seedlings are best potted up into individual pots once they are large enough to handle - grow them on in a cold frame and plant them out in early summer of the following year. Trees transplant well when they are up to 80cm tall, but they are best put in their final positions when they are about 30 - 45 cm or less tall, this is usually when they are about 5 - 8 years old[200]. Larger trees will check badly and hardly put on any growth for several years. This also badly affects root development and wind resistance[200].

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Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status
IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :
Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameEdibility RatingMedicinal Rating
Pseudotsuga menziesiiDouglas Fir, Rocky Mountain Douglas-fir22
Tsuga canadensisCanadian Hemlock, Eastern hemlock13
Tsuga carolinianaCarolina Hemlock12
Tsuga chinensisChinese Hemlock12
Tsuga heterophyllaWestern Hemlock12
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Subject : Tsuga mertensiana  

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