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Hemlock




=Habitat and Range.=--Cold soils, borders of swamps, deep woods,

ravines, mountain slopes.



Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, through Quebec and Ontario.



Maine,--abundant, generally distributed in the southern and central

portions, becoming rare northward, disappearing entirely in most of

Aroostook county and the northern Penobscot region; New

Hampshire,--abundant, from the sea to a height of 2000 feet in the White

mountains, disappearing in upper Coos county; Vermont,--common,

especially in the mountain forests; Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and

Connecticut,--common.



South to Delaware and along the mountains to Georgia and Alabama,

ascending to an altitude of 2000 feet in the Adirondacks; west to

Michigan and Minnesota.



=Habit.=--A large handsome tree, 50-80 feet high; trunk 2-4 feet in

diameter, straight, tapering very slowly; branches going out at right

angles, not disposed in whorls, slender, brittle yet elastic, the lowest

declined or drooping; head spreading, somewhat irregular, widest at the

base; spray airy, graceful, plume-like, set in horizontal planes;

foliage dense, extremely delicate, dark lustrous green above and silver

green below, tipped in spring with light yellow green.



=Bark.=--Bark of trunk reddish-brown, interior often cinnamon red,

shallow-furrowed in old trees; young trunks and branches of large trees

gray brown, smooth; season's shoots very slender, buff or light

reddish-brown, minutely pubescent.



=Winter Buds and Leaves.=--Winter buds minute, red brown. Leaves

spirally arranged but brought by the twisting of the leafstalk into two

horizontal rows on opposite sides of the twig, about 1/2 an inch long,

yellow green when young, becoming at maturity dark shining green on the

upper surface, white-banded along the midrib beneath, flat, linear,

smooth, occasionally minutely toothed, especially in the upper half;

apex obtuse; base obtuse; leafstalk slender, short but distinct,

resting on a slightly projecting leaf-cushion.



=Inflorescence.=--Sterile flowers from the axils of the preceding year's

leaves, consisting of globose clusters of stamens with spurred anthers:

fertile catkins at ends of preceding year's branchlets, scales crimson.



=Fruit.=--Cones, on stout footstalks at ends of branchlets, pointing

downward, ripening the first year, light brown, about 3/4 of an inch

long, ovate-elliptical, pointed; scales rounded at the edge, entire or

obscurely toothed.



=Horticultural Value.=--Hardy throughout New England; grows almost

anywhere, but prefers a good, light, loamy or gravelly soil on moist

slopes; a very effective tree single or in groups, useful in shady

places, and a favorite hedge plant; not affected by rust or insect

enemies; in open ground retains its lower branches for many years. About

twenty horticultural forms, with variations in foliage, of columnar,

densely globular, or weeping habit, are offered for sale in nurseries.






1. Branch with flower-buds.

2. Branch with sterile flowers.

3. Sterile flowers.

4. Spurred anther.

5. Branch with fertile flowers.

6. Ovuliferous scale with ovule, inner side.

7. Fruiting branch.

8. Cover-scales with seeds.

9. Leaf.

10. Cross-section of leaf.





=Abies balsamea, Mill.=






Next: Fir Balsam Balsam Fir

Previous: White Spruce Cat Spruce Skunk Spruce Labrador Spruce



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