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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]. It is best used in the spring[2]. An emergency food, it is only used when all else fails[3]. A herbal tea is made from the young leaves and shoot tips[2][3].

Inner bark

Unknown part

Tea

Material uses

The slightly unripe cones are used in pot-pourri. They retain an attractive scent for several years[4].

Yields a resin similar to Abies balsamea, it is gathered by incisions in the trunk or by boiling the wood[5][6][7]. The bark contains 8 - 14% tannin[5][8]. The inner bark is used according to one report[9]. A brown dye is obtained from the bark[10][5]. The boughs are steamed or rubbed on furniture and used as a room deodorant and disinfectant[11]. A pitch (called hemlock pitch), is obtained by distillation of the young branches[5]. Tolerant of light trimming, plants can be grown as a tall hedge[12][13].

Wood - strong[8]. Used for heavy construction[8]. 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[9][14].

Medicinal uses(Warning!)

The bark is astringent, diaphoretic and diuretic[10]. 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[10][11]. It can also be used as a gargle or mouthwash for mouth and throat problems or externally to wash sores and ulcers[10].

The powdered bark can be put into shoes for tender or sweaty feet or for foot odour[10]. A poultice of the chewed leaves has been used to treat burns[11].

The warm gum obtained from the trunks has been used as a dressing on cuts[11].

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[15][16] 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[17]. 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[4]. Larger trees will check badly and hardly put on any growth for several years. This also badly affects root development and wind resistance[4].

Practical Plants is currently lacking information on propagation instructions of Tsuga mertensiana. 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[18]. However, it succeeds in most soils and positions, being especially good on acidic sandy soils[13]. Plants are very shade tolerant when young, but need more sunlight as they grow older[13][4]. Plants are thin and poor when grown in dry or exposed places[4]. Dislikes atmospheric pollution[9].

A very ornamental plant[18], 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[19]. Trees live 400 - 500 years in the wild[14]. They commence bearing seeds when about 20 - 30 years old, years of high production alternating with years of low production[14].

Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus[4].

Crops

Problems, pests & diseases

Associations & Interactions

There are no interactions listed for Tsuga mertensiana. 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 mertensiana.

Descendants

Cultivars

Varieties

None listed.

Subspecies

None listed.

Full Data

This table shows all the data stored for this plant.

Taxonomy
Binomial name
Tsuga mertensiana
Genus
Tsuga
Family
Pinaceae
Imported References
Edible uses
Medicinal uses
Material uses & Functions
Botanic
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
4
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:MountainHemlock 0965.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.

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    References

    1. ? 1.01.1 Yanovsky. E. Food Plants of the N. American Indians. Publication no. 237. U.S. Depf of Agriculture. ()
    2. ? 2.02.12.2 Schofield. J. J. Discovering Wild Plants - Alaska, W. Canada and the Northwest. ()
    3. ? 3.03.13.2 Facciola. S. Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants. Kampong Publications ISBN 0-9628087-0-9 (1990-00-00)
    4. ? 4.04.14.24.34.44.54.64.7 Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992. MacMillan Press ISBN 0-333-47494-5 (1992-00-00)
    5. ? 5.05.15.25.35.4 Uphof. J. C. Th. Dictionary of Economic Plants. Weinheim (1959-00-00)
    6. ? 6.06.1 Usher. G. A Dictionary of Plants Used by Man. Constable ISBN 0094579202 (1974-00-00)
    7. ? 7.07.1 Howes. F. N. Vegetable Gums and Resins. Faber ()
    8. ? 8.08.18.28.3 Hill. A. F. Economic Botany. The Maple Press (1952-00-00)
    9. ? 9.09.19.29.39.4 Sargent. C. S. Manual of the Trees of N. America. Dover Publications Inc. New York. ISBN 0-486-20278-X (1965-00-00)
    10. ? 10.010.110.210.310.410.510.6 Lust. J. The Herb Book. Bantam books ISBN 0-553-23827-2 (1983-00-00)
    11. ? 11.011.111.211.311.411.5 Moerman. D. Native American Ethnobotany Timber Press. Oregon. ISBN 0-88192-453-9 (1998-00-00)
    12. ? 12.012.1 Shepherd. F.W. Hedges and Screens. Royal Horticultural Society. ISBN 0900629649 (1974-00-00)
    13. ? 13.013.113.213.3 Rushforth. K. Conifers. Christopher Helm ISBN 0-7470-2801-X (1987-00-00)
    14. ? 14.014.114.214.3 Elias. T. The Complete Trees of N. America. Field Guide and Natural History. Van Nostrand Reinhold Co. ISBN 0442238622 (1980-00-00)
    15. ? McMillan-Browse. P. Hardy Woody Plants from Seed. Grower Books ISBN 0-901361-21-6 (1985-00-00)
    16. ? Dirr. M. A. and Heuser. M. W. The Reference Manual of Woody Plant Propagation. Athens Ga. Varsity Press ISBN 0942375009 (1987-00-00)
    17. ? Sheat. W. G. Propagation of Trees, Shrubs and Conifers. MacMillan and Co (1948-00-00)
    18. ? 18.018.118.2 Bean. W. Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement. Murray (1981-00-00)
    19. ? Mitchell. A. F. Conifers in the British Isles. HMSO ISBN 0-11-710012-9 (1975-00-00)

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