Habitat: Montane on western side of divide
Height: Up to 48 m
Description: This western slope giant towers above anything found on the eastern side of the continental divide. Its needles resemble those of a fir, but they attach to the twig with very short stalks. They also vary in length, helping to distinguish them from the similar Douglas-fir. They grow well beneath dark canopies, and often grow within the rotting stumps of dead trees. They require a very moist climate, and for this reason are found only on the western side of the continental divide. The bark begins scaly, but becomes furrowed with age. The cones are approximately 2 cm long. The scales open in the fall, spreading widely to release the seeds. The western hemlock is one of the most important timber species in western Canada.
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