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The Western Hemlock T


T. heterophylla, Sarg.

The Western hemlock is a giant that dominates other trees in the Western mountain forests, famous for their giants of many different names. It is a noble pyramidal tree that reaches two hundred feet in height and a maxi mum trunk diameter of ten feet. Its heavy horizontal branches droop and hold out feathery tips as light and graceful in the adult monarch as in the sapling of a few years' growth. The characteristic hemlock foliage, lus trous green above and pale below, is two-ranked by the twisting of the slender petioles.

From southeastern Alaska, eastward into Montana and Idaho, and southward to Cape Mendocino in California, this tree climbs from the lowlands to an altitude that ex ceeds a mile. Wherever there are rich river valleys and the air is humid, this hemlock is superb, the delight of artists and lumbermen. At its highest range it becomes stunted, but always produces its oval, pointed cones in abundance.

Its wood, the strongest and most durable in the hemlock family, is chiefly used in buildings, and the bark for tan ning.