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The Flora of Mount Shasta

Mountain Hemlock

Pine Family (Pinaceae) Tsuga mertensiana
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Mountain Hemlock © 2001 Ken and Leona Beatty

Growth Form: Tapering crown, leader droops to one side, lower branches droop and are much longer than upper.

Mountain Hemlock spray and cones © 2001 Ken and Leona Beatty

Leaves: 1/2" to 3/4" in length, bristle in all directions; at branchlet tips the needles are clustered in a star like pattern.

Bark: Thick, deeply furrowed, purplish- to dark reddish-brown.

Cones: Cylindrical, 1 1/2" to 3" long. After the seed are released, the thin scales are reflexed back toward the cone base.

Found: Upper elevation in cool, moist basins to timberline. Klamath, Cascade, and Sierra Nevada mountain ranges.

Tidbits: At timberline and on exposed ridges, the trees are reduced to sprawling, ground-hugging, dwarf forms known as krummholz.


Panorama of Mountain Hemlock Forest on Gray Butte
©1999 G. Donald Bain

 

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