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Uses

Edible uses

Notes

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[1][2][3].

The leaves and twigs yield 'spruce oil', which is used commercially to flavour chewing gum, soft drinks, ice cream etc[4].

A herbal tea is made from the young shoot tips[1][5][6][7][4]. These tips are also an ingredient of 'spruce beer'[4].

Inner bark

Unknown part

Tea

Material uses

The inner bark has been used to make baskets[8].

A rosy-tan dye can be obtained from the bark[8]. The bark is a source of tannin[8].

All the uses listed below are based on the uses of T. canadensis and reports in [2][9][10] that this species has similar uses. Yields a resin similar to Abies balsamea, it is gathered by incisions in the trunk or by boiling the wood[2][9][11]. A pitch (called hemlock pitch), is obtained by distillation of the young branches[2]. 'Oil of Hemlock' is distilled from the young branches according to another report[10]. The boiled bark has been used to make a wash to clean rust off iron and steel, and to prevent further rusting[8]. Tolerant of light trimming, plants can be grown as a hedge[12]. This species does not make a good hedge in Britain[13]. Some cultivars can be grown as a ground cover when planted about 1 metre apart each way[14]. 'Pendula' is slow-growing but makes a very good cover[14].

Wood - coarse-grained, light, soft, not strong, brittle, not durable outdoors[15][2][9][10][16][17]. Difficult to work because it splits easily[18]. The wood weighs 26lb per cubic foot[19]. The trees do not self-prune and so the wood contains numerous remarkably hard knots that can quickly dull the blade of an axe[18]. A coarse lumber, it is used occasionally for the outside of buildings[15][2][9][10][16][17]. It should be used with caution as a fuel for outdoor fires because it can project embers and burning wood several metres from the fire[18].

Medicinal uses(Warning!)

The bark is astringent, diaphoretic and diuretic[15]. A tea made from the inner bark or twigs is helpful in the treatment of kidney or bladder problems, and also makes a good enema for treating diarrhoea[15]. It can also be used as a gargle or mouthwash for mouth and throat problems or externally to wash sores and ulcers[15]. A poultice of the bark has been used to treat itchy armpits[8].

The powdered bark can be put into shoes for tender or sweaty feet or for foot odour[15]. An infusion of the stem tips has been used to treat kidney problems[8].

A decoction of the roots has been used as a birthing aid to help expel the afterbirth[8]. The roots have been chewed in order to treat diarrhoea[8].

Ecology

Ecosystem niche/layer

Canopy

Ecological Functions

Hedge

Forage

Nothing listed.

Shelter

Nothing listed.

Propagation

Seed - it germinates better if given a short cold stratification[20][21] 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[22]. 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[13]. Larger trees will check badly and hardly put on any growth for several years. This also badly affects root development and wind resistance[13].

Practical Plants is currently lacking information on propagation instructions of Tsuga caroliniana. Help us fill in the blanks! Edit this page to add your knowledge.



Cultivation

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[23]. However, it succeeds in most soils and positions, being especially good on acidic sandy soils[12] but also tolerating some lime[23] so long as there is plenty of humus in the soil[14]. Plants are very shade tolerant when young, but need more sunlight as they grow older[12][13]. Plants are thin and poor when grown in dry or exposed places[13]. This species is more tolerant of atmospheric pollution than T. canadensis[23].

A slow growing tree in Britain, it requires hot humid summers[13]. It is probably less slow in the far west and in Ireland[24]. Trees have not done well in this country even though they are very cold-tolerant[23].

Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus[13].

Crops

Problems, pests & diseases

Associations & Interactions

There are no interactions listed for Tsuga caroliniana. Do you know of an interaction that should be listed here? edit this page to add it.

Polycultures & Guilds

There are no polycultures listed which include Tsuga caroliniana.

Descendants

Cultivars

Varieties

None listed.

Subspecies

None listed.

Full Data

This table shows all the data stored for this plant.

Taxonomy
Binomial name
Tsuga caroliniana
Genus
Tsuga
Family
Pinaceae
Imported References
Edible uses
Medicinal uses
Propagation
Cultivation
Environment
Cultivation
Uses
Edible uses
None listed.
Material uses
None listed.
Medicinal uses
None listed.
Functions & Nature
Functions
Provides forage for
Provides shelter for
Environment
Hardiness Zone
6
Heat Zone
?
Water
moderate
Sun
full sun
Shade
permanent shade
Soil Texture
Soil Water Retention
Environmental Tolerances
    Ecosystems
    Native Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Adapted Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Native Geographical Range
    None listed.
    Native Environment
    None listed.
    Ecosystem Niche
    Root Zone Tendancy
    None listed.
    Life
    Deciduous or Evergreen
    Herbaceous or Woody
    Life Cycle
    Growth Rate
    Mature Size
    15 x 8 meters
    Fertility
    ?
    Pollinators
    Flower Colour
    ?
    Flower Type











    References

    1. ? 1.01.11.2 Hedrick. U. P. Sturtevant's Edible Plants of the World. Dover Publications ISBN 0-486-20459-6 (1972-00-00)
    2. ? 2.02.12.22.32.42.52.62.7 Uphof. J. C. Th. Dictionary of Economic Plants. Weinheim (1959-00-00)
    3. ? 3.03.1 Yanovsky. E. Food Plants of the N. American Indians. Publication no. 237. U.S. Depf of Agriculture. ()
    4. ? 4.04.14.24.3 Facciola. S. Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants. Kampong Publications ISBN 0-9628087-0-9 (1990-00-00)
    5. ? 5.05.1 Elias. T. and Dykeman. P. A Field Guide to N. American Edible Wild Plants. Van Nostrand Reinhold ISBN 0442222009 (1982-00-00)
    6. ? 6.06.1 Saunders. C. F. Edible and Useful Wild Plants of the United States and Canada. Dover Publications ISBN 0-486-23310-3 (1976-00-00)
    7. ? 7.07.1 McPherson. A. and S. Wild Food Plants of Indiana. Indiana University Press ISBN 0-253-28925-4 (1977-00-00)
    8. ? 8.08.18.28.38.48.58.68.78.88.9 Moerman. D. Native American Ethnobotany Timber Press. Oregon. ISBN 0-88192-453-9 (1998-00-00)
    9. ? 9.09.19.29.39.4 Usher. G. A Dictionary of Plants Used by Man. Constable ISBN 0094579202 (1974-00-00)
    10. ? 10.010.110.210.310.4 Sargent. C. S. Manual of the Trees of N. America. Dover Publications Inc. New York. ISBN 0-486-20278-X (1965-00-00)
    11. ? 11.011.1 Howes. F. N. Vegetable Gums and Resins. Faber ()
    12. ? 12.012.112.212.3 Rushforth. K. Conifers. Christopher Helm ISBN 0-7470-2801-X (1987-00-00)
    13. ? 13.013.113.213.313.413.513.613.713.8 Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992. MacMillan Press ISBN 0-333-47494-5 (1992-00-00)
    14. ? 14.014.114.214.3 Thomas. G. S. Plants for Ground Cover J. M. Dent & Sons ISBN 0-460-12609-1 (1990-00-00)
    15. ? 15.015.115.215.315.415.515.615.7 Lust. J. The Herb Book. Bantam books ISBN 0-553-23827-2 (1983-00-00)
    16. ? 16.016.116.2 Hill. A. F. Economic Botany. The Maple Press (1952-00-00)
    17. ? 17.017.117.2 Elias. T. The Complete Trees of N. America. Field Guide and Natural History. Van Nostrand Reinhold Co. ISBN 0442238622 (1980-00-00)
    18. ? 18.018.118.218.3 Lauriault. J. Identification Guide to the Trees of Canada Fitzhenry and Whiteside, Ontario. ISBN 0889025649 (1989-00-00)
    19. ? 19.019.1 Britton. N. L. Brown. A. An Illustrated Flora of the Northern United States and Canada Dover Publications. New York. ISBN 0-486-22642-5 (1970-00-00)
    20. ? McMillan-Browse. P. Hardy Woody Plants from Seed. Grower Books ISBN 0-901361-21-6 (1985-00-00)
    21. ? Dirr. M. A. and Heuser. M. W. The Reference Manual of Woody Plant Propagation. Athens Ga. Varsity Press ISBN 0942375009 (1987-00-00)
    22. ? Sheat. W. G. Propagation of Trees, Shrubs and Conifers. MacMillan and Co (1948-00-00)
    23. ? 23.023.123.223.323.4 Bean. W. Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement. Murray (1981-00-00)
    24. ? Mitchell. A. F. Conifers in the British Isles. HMSO ISBN 0-11-710012-9 (1975-00-00)
    25. ? Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named PFAFimport-43