Monday, February 2, 2009

Canadian Hemlock

For some time I have been on the lookout for a Canadian Hemlock, Tsuga canadensis, wishing to add to the list of conifers. And here it is, just up the road from me. I'm getting the feeling that I can choose a very small area and achieve a good representative ecosystem of the lake environment. Perhaps some differentiation to come will be by forest, lowland, swamp, and lake shore.

Also known as the Eastern Hemlock, this graceful evergreen is monoecious, that is having both pollen and seed cones on the same tree. Sexual maturity comes at about 20 years of age and these trees are known to live for 150 to 200 years.

I had the special satisfaction while researching this specimen that I could find reproductive information only from within my library. John Eastman's Forest and Thicket had four pages of details on this tree! Nothing readily Googleable. This reduces the guilt of book buying while increasing Amazon's profit. And, I'm doing my part to stimulate the economy! Makes sense to me.

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