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Uses

Edible uses

Notes

Inner bark - raw or cooked[1][2]. It can be dried, ground into a powder and then used as a thickening in soups etc or mixed with cereals when making bread[3]. It has also been used as a sweetener for other foods[2]. The inner bark was often cooked and then dried for use in the winter[4]. At its best in spring[5], it was one of the staple foods of the Alaskan Indians[6]. An emergency food, it is only used when all else fails[7].

The leaves and twigs yield 'spruce oil', used commercially to flavour chewing gum, soft drinks, ice cream etc[7]. Pitch, obtained from crevices in the bark, has been chewed as a gum[2]. The leaves and young shoots have been chewed as an emergency food to keep one alive when lost in the woods[2].

A herbal tea is made from the leaves and shoot tips[5][7]. These tips are also an ingredient of 'spruce beer'[7].

Unknown part

Inner bark

Material uses

Yields a resin similar to Abies balsamea, it is gathered by incisions in the trunk or by boiling the wood[8][9][10].

The bark contains 8 - 18% tannin and is a major source of tannin in America[8][6][11][12]. A reddish-brown dye is obtained from the bark[13][8][2]. A decoction of the bark has been used to clean rust off iron and steel[2]. A pitch (called hemlock pitch), is obtained by distillation of the young branches[8]. The pitch is rubbed on the hair to get rid of head lice[2]. Tolerant of light trimming, plants can be grown as a hedge[14]. This species makes a good hedge in Britain[15][16].

Wood - light, hard, tough, easy to work. Commercially superior to other members of this genus, it is an important tree for construction, the outside of buildings etc and for carving into spoons etc[8][9][6][11][12][17]. It is also a major source of pulp[12]. The wood makes a slow-burning fuel and so can be used to bank up a fire to keep it burning overnight[2].

Medicinal uses(Warning!)

Western hemlock was commonly employed medicinally by several native North American Indian tribes who used it to treat a variety of complaints[2]. It is little, if at all, used in modern herbalism.

The bark is astringent, diaphoretic and diuretic[13]. A decoction of the pounded bark has been used in the treatment of haemorrhages, tuberculosis and syphilis[2]. The boiled bark, combined with liquorice fern (Polypodium glyccyrhiza), has been used in the treatment of haemorrhages[2]. An infusion of the inner bark or twigs is helpful in the treatment of kidney or bladder problems[13]. It can also be used as a good enema for treating diarrhoea and as a gargle or mouthwash for mouth and throat problems[13]. Externally, it can be used as a wash on sores and ulcers[13][2]. A poultice of the plant has been applied to bleeding wounds[2]. A moxa of the twigs has been used to get rid of warts[2]. The powdered bark can be put into shoes for tender or sweaty feet or for foot odour[13]. The gum obtained from the trunk has been applied to cuts[2]. It has been applied to the skin to prevent chapping and sunburn[2].

A poultice of the chewed leaves has been used in the treatment of burns[2].

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[18][19] 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[20]. 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[16]. Larger trees will check badly and hardly put on any growth for several years. This also badly affects root development and wind resistance[16].

Practical Plants is currently lacking information on propagation instructions of Tsuga heterophylla. 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[21]. However, it succeeds in most soils and positions, being especially good on acidic sandy soils[14] but also tolerating some lime[21] so long as there is plenty of humus in the soil[22]. Plants are very shade tolerant when young, but need more sunlight as they grow older[14][16]. Plants are thin and poor when grown in dry or exposed places[16].

Occasionally cultivated for its timber in Britain, it can grow 60 - 150cm per year[21][23]. New growth takes place from mid-May to mid-September, at first it hangs downwards but begins to straighten towards the end of the season[23]. There are trees more than 50 metres tall in Britain[16]. Trees live for several centuries in the wild and often produce large quantities of seed[17]. Plants often form pure stands and cast a dense shade, thus preventing the regeneration of other trees whilst being able to reproduce itself[12].

Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus[16].

Crops

Problems, pests & diseases

Associations & Interactions

There are no interactions listed for Tsuga heterophylla. 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 heterophylla.

Descendants

Cultivars

Varieties

None listed.

Subspecies

None listed.

Full Data

This table shows all the data stored for this plant.

Taxonomy
Binomial name
Tsuga heterophylla
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
    Fertility
    ?
    Pollinators
    Flower Colour
    ?
    Flower Type

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    "image:WesternHemlock 7522.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki. "image:WesternHemlock 7522.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.


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    "image:WesternHemlock 7522.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.

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    References

    1. ? 1.01.1 Weiner. M. A. Earth Medicine, Earth Food. Ballantine Books ISBN 0-449-90589-6 (1980-00-00)
    2. ? 2.002.012.022.032.042.052.062.072.082.092.102.112.122.132.142.152.162.172.182.19 Moerman. D. Native American Ethnobotany Timber Press. Oregon. ISBN 0-88192-453-9 (1998-00-00)
    3. ? 3.03.1 Yanovsky. E. Food Plants of the N. American Indians. Publication no. 237. U.S. Depf of Agriculture. ()
    4. ? 4.04.1 Turner. N. J. Food Plants of Coastal First Peoples UBC Press. Vancouver. ISBN 0-7748-0533-1 (1995-00-00)
    5. ? 5.05.15.2 Schofield. J. J. Discovering Wild Plants - Alaska, W. Canada and the Northwest. ()
    6. ? 6.06.16.26.36.4 Sargent. C. S. Manual of the Trees of N. America. Dover Publications Inc. New York. ISBN 0-486-20278-X (1965-00-00)
    7. ? 7.07.17.27.37.4 Facciola. S. Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants. Kampong Publications ISBN 0-9628087-0-9 (1990-00-00)
    8. ? 8.08.18.28.38.48.5 Uphof. J. C. Th. Dictionary of Economic Plants. Weinheim (1959-00-00)
    9. ? 9.09.19.2 Usher. G. A Dictionary of Plants Used by Man. Constable ISBN 0094579202 (1974-00-00)
    10. ? 10.010.1 Howes. F. N. Vegetable Gums and Resins. Faber ()
    11. ? 11.011.111.2 Hill. A. F. Economic Botany. The Maple Press (1952-00-00)
    12. ? 12.012.112.212.312.4 Lauriault. J. Identification Guide to the Trees of Canada Fitzhenry and Whiteside, Ontario. ISBN 0889025649 (1989-00-00)
    13. ? 13.013.113.213.313.413.513.613.7 Lust. J. The Herb Book. Bantam books ISBN 0-553-23827-2 (1983-00-00)
    14. ? 14.014.114.214.3 Rushforth. K. Conifers. Christopher Helm ISBN 0-7470-2801-X (1987-00-00)
    15. ? 15.015.1 RHS. The Garden. Volume 113. Royal Horticultural Society (1988-00-00)
    16. ? 16.016.116.216.316.416.516.616.716.8 Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992. MacMillan Press ISBN 0-333-47494-5 (1992-00-00)
    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. ? McMillan-Browse. P. Hardy Woody Plants from Seed. Grower Books ISBN 0-901361-21-6 (1985-00-00)
    19. ? Dirr. M. A. and Heuser. M. W. The Reference Manual of Woody Plant Propagation. Athens Ga. Varsity Press ISBN 0942375009 (1987-00-00)
    20. ? Sheat. W. G. Propagation of Trees, Shrubs and Conifers. MacMillan and Co (1948-00-00)
    21. ? 21.021.121.221.3 Bean. W. Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement. Murray (1981-00-00)
    22. ? Thomas. G. S. Plants for Ground Cover J. M. Dent & Sons ISBN 0-460-12609-1 (1990-00-00)
    23. ? 23.023.1 Mitchell. A. F. Conifers in the British Isles. HMSO ISBN 0-11-710012-9 (1975-00-00)
    24. ? Hitchcock. C. L. Vascular Plants of the Pacific Northwest. University of Washington Press (1955-00-00)

    "image:WesternHemlock 7522.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.

    Facts about "Tsuga heterophylla"RDF feed
    Article is incompleteYes +
    Article requires citationsNo +
    Article requires cleanupYes +
    Belongs to familyPinaceae +
    Belongs to genusTsuga +
    Functions asHedge +
    Has binomial nameTsuga heterophylla +
    Has common nameWestern Hemlock +
    Has drought toleranceIntolerant +
    Has edible partUnknown part + and Inner bark +
    Has edible useCondiment +, Gum +, Unknown use + and Tea +
    Has fertility typeWind +
    Has flowers of typeMonoecious +
    Has growth rateVigorous +
    Has hardiness zone6 +
    Has imageWesternHemlock 7522.jpg +
    Has lifecycle typePerennial +
    Has material partUnknown part +
    Has material useDye +, Fuel +, Parasiticide +, Resin +, Rust treatments +, Tannin + and Wood +
    Has mature height70 +
    Has mature width15 +
    Has medicinal partUnknown part +
    Has medicinal useAstringent +, Diaphoretic +, Diuretic +, Poultice + and Skin +
    Has primary imageWesternHemlock 7522.jpg +
    Has search nametsuga heterophylla + and western hemlock +
    Has shade tolerancePermanent shade +
    Has soil ph preferenceVery acid +, Acid +, Neutral + and Alkaline +
    Has soil texture preferenceSandy +, Loamy + and Clay +
    Has soil water retention preferenceWell drained +
    Has sun preferenceFull sun +
    Has taxonomic rankSpecies +
    Has taxonomy nameTsuga heterophylla +
    Has water requirementsmoderate +
    Inhabits ecosystem nicheCanopy +
    Is deciduous or evergreenEvergreen +
    Is herbaceous or woodyWoody +
    Is taxonomy typeSpecies +
    PFAF cultivation notes migratedNo +
    PFAF edible use notes migratedNo +
    PFAF material use notes migratedNo +
    PFAF medicinal use notes migratedNo +
    PFAF propagation notes migratedNo +
    PFAF toxicity notes migratedYes +
    Tolerates nutritionally poor soilNo +
    Uses mature size measurement unitMeters +
    Has subobjectThis property is a special property in this wiki.Tsuga heterophylla +, Tsuga heterophylla +, Tsuga heterophylla +, Tsuga heterophylla +, Tsuga heterophylla +, Tsuga heterophylla +, Tsuga heterophylla +, Tsuga heterophylla +, Tsuga heterophylla +, Tsuga heterophylla +, Tsuga heterophylla +, Tsuga heterophylla +, Tsuga heterophylla +, Tsuga heterophylla +, Tsuga heterophylla + and Tsuga heterophylla +