Western hemlock

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West Coast Hemlock (Tsuga heterophylla)


A strong, tall hemlock, Tsuga heterphylla, native to the northwestern Pacific coast of Canada and the U.S. The western hemlock produces a soft, lightweight wood with a straight, fine grain. Peak production was in 1927. The lumber was used for millwork, construction, boxes, fences, and boats.

Synonyms and Related Terms

Pacific hemlock; west coast hemlock; Tsuga heterophylla; hemlock fir; Prince Albert's hemlock

Density 28 pcf

Paper fiber type: softwood. Using transmitted light microscopy, fibers are identified by the presence of small piceoid and cupressiod ray parenchyma pits. Ray tracheids are non-dentate and usually collapsed. Appearance with Graff "C" stain: varies with pulping method. Average dimensions of fibers: length, 4.2mm; width, 30-40 μm. Common pulping method: kraft (sulfate) and sulfite.

Additional Images


  • G.S.Brady, Materials Handbook, McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York, 1971 Comment: p. 394
  • Dictionary of Building Preservation, Ward Bucher, ed., John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York City, 1996
  • External source or communication Comment: West Coast Lumbermen's Association, Seattle, Wash.: air-dry weight = 28 pcf
  • Marja-Sisko Ilvessalo-Pfäffli. Fiber Atlas: Identification of Papermaking Fibers (Springer Series in Wood Science). Springer, 1995.

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