Tsuga heterophylla (Raf.) Sarg.

Western hemlock

Family: PInaceae
54º 34.995N
5º 55.997W

The tree tag number relates to the black tree-maintenance tags, usually fixed on the trunk, 2 to 3m above ground level.

The western hemlocks are frequent forest trees of north America, native from Alaska to California and important timber trees of forestry world-wide. As the species name indicates the most distinctive feature of the western hemlock is the variability of leaf length – a rather untidy mixture of long and short leaves. The Belfast Botanic Gardens specimen is a young tree on the main path close to the entrance to the bowling pavilion. The western hemlock is very similar to and hard to distinguish from the Eastern hemlock Tsuga canadensis.

Photos taken in Belfast Botanic Gardens in 2017. Copyright: Friends of Belfast Botanic Gardens.