State Tree Of Washington

State Tree Of Washington

Western Hemlock Is The Official State Tree Of Washington. Washington Adopted the western hemlock (Tsuga heterophylla) as the official Washington State Tree in 1947. The State of Washington is known as the evergreen state. The Washington State was conspicuously lacking a state tree in 1946. This was pointed out by the Oregonian newspaper, which used the situation to ridicule Washington. But the paper also did some good by suggesting western hemlock as a potential choice for State Tree Of Washington. In response, a Washington newspaper selected western red cedar as a candidate for the state tree. But Washington State Representative George Adams was a strong advocate of western hemlock. He predicted the tree would become “the backbone of this state’s forest industry.” His bill to make hemlock the Washington State Tree was passed in 1947. 

Western Hemlock Tree is Also called Pacific hemlock and west coast hemlock. Western hemlock is a characteristic tree of the Pacific Northwest region, with a distribution that follows the coastline. A separate population occurs in the northern Rocky Mountains. Washington State Tree is not the largest-growing, nor the most important timber tree in the region. However, it is fast-growing and a colonizing species with a strong potential for tree farming. As an ornamental, State Tree Of Washington western hemlock has performed well in cultivation in parts of Europe. In the eastern United States, conditions are less favorable, and its cultivation at the U.S. National Arboretum must be considered experimental.


Identification of Western Hemlock



Western hemlock is a conifer growing to 180 feet tall, with the growing tip often leaning or drooping. The flat needles are short, of variable length, and rounded at the tip. The tree’s small cones have rounded scales.

Height: 100-200 ft (30-61 m)

Diameter: 2-9 ft (0.6-3 m)

Bark: Young bark is thin, superficially scaly, and brown to black. On mature trees, the bark is thin about 1 inch with flattened ridges. The inner bark is dark red streaked with purple.

Seed Cones: Small, pendulous, 14-30 mm long with 15-25 thin, flexible scales

Leaves: Flat needles 0.25-0.9 in (6-22 mm) long, rounded at tips

Form: A large evergreen conifer that reaches 200 feet tall and 4 feet in diameter


Western hemlock typically reaches about 300 to 400 years of age. The maximum age recorded is in excess of 700 years.

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