Mountain hemlock, an evergreen tree, grows up to 150 ft. tall in the wild, but is usually 20-60 ft. in cultivation. It has red-brown, scaly bark, and a slender, pyramidal to irregular crown. The central leader is the most droopy of all hemlocks, often making a 180 degree bend and pointing at the ground. Slim branchlets form graceful, pendent masses of delicate foliage. Needles are atypically round and are swept forward adding to the slender appearance of the branches. Cones are closed for most of their life and range in color from brilliant purple to lime-green or red. Tree with tapering trunk, conical crown of slender horizontal or drooping branches, and very slender, curved, drooping leader; a prostrate shrub at timberline.
Mountain Hemlock is a characteristic species of high mountains, varying greatly in size from a large tree at low altitudes to a dwarf, creeping shrub at timberline. Hemlock groves provide cover, nesting sites, and seeds for birds, as well as foliage for mountain goats and other hoofed browsers. (info source: wildflower.org)
Genus - Tsuga
Species - Mertensiana
Common name - Mountain Hemlock
Germination rate - 85%
Pre-Treatment - Required
Plant type - Tree
Vegetation type - Evergreen
Hardiness zones - 4 - 8
Exposure - Full Sun, Light Shade
Height - 15'-25' / 4.60 - 7.60 m
Spread - 10'-20' / 3 - 6 m
Growth rate - Medium
Leaf / Flower color - Green / --
Soil PH - Acidic, Neutral
Soil type - Clay, Loam, Well Drained
Water requirements - Average Water
Landscape uses - Woodland Garden Canopy; Hedge
Soak in water for 24 hours.
Stratification: cold and moist for 60 days.
Sow seed 1/8" deep, tamp the soil, keep moist, mulch the seed bed, remove mulch upon germination, cover seedbed with some shade.
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.
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 80 cm 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.
Larger trees will check badly and hardly put on any growth for several years. This also badly affects root development and wind resistance. (info source: pfaf.org)
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