Index of Species Information

SPECIES:  Tsuga caroliniana


SPECIES: Tsuga caroliniana
AUTHORSHIP AND CITATION : Coladonato, Milo 1993. Tsuga caroliniana. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: [].

ABBREVIATION : TSUCAR SYNONYMS : NO-ENTRY SCS PLANT CODE : TSCA2 COMMON NAMES : Carolina hemlock TAXONOMY : The currently accepted scientific name of Carolina hemlock is Tsuga caroliniana Engelm. [12]. There are no recognized subspecies, varieties, or forms. LIFE FORM : Tree FEDERAL LEGAL STATUS : No special status OTHER STATUS : Carolina hemlock is listed as rare in its natural range [11].


SPECIES: Tsuga caroliniana
GENERAL DISTRIBUTION : Carolina hemlock has a very limited distribution. It occurs along the slopes of the Appalachian Mountains from southwestern Virginia and western North Carolina into South Carolina and northern Georgia [6,8,22]. ECOSYSTEMS : FRES14 Oak - pine FRES15 Oak - hickory STATES : GA NC SC TN VA BLM PHYSIOGRAPHIC REGIONS : NO-ENTRY KUCHLER PLANT ASSOCIATIONS : K104 Appalachian oak forest K111 Oak - hickory - pine forest SAF COVER TYPES : 44 Chestnut oak 58 Yellow-poplar - eastern hemlock 59 Yellow-poplar - white oak - northern red oak 78 Virginia pine - oak 87 Sweet gum - yellow-poplar SRM (RANGELAND) COVER TYPES : NO-ENTRY HABITAT TYPES AND PLANT COMMUNITIES : NO-ENTRY


SPECIES: Tsuga caroliniana
WOOD PRODUCTS VALUE : The wood of Carolina hemlock can be used for lumber or pulpwood, but the species is so limited in extent that it is not considered commercially important [6,16]. IMPORTANCE TO LIVESTOCK AND WILDLIFE : The seeds of Carolina hemlock are an important food for a number of birds and mammals. Beaver, and occasionally porcupine and rabbit, eat the bark [6,18]. The foliage is occasionally browsed by white-tailed deer in the winter [1]. PALATABILITY : NO-ENTRY NUTRITIONAL VALUE : NO-ENTRY COVER VALUE : Carolina hemlock and eastern hemlock (Tsuga canadensis) stands are considered essential for shelter and bedding of white-tailed deer during the winter [6]. VALUE FOR REHABILITATION OF DISTURBED SITES : NO-ENTRY OTHER USES AND VALUES : Carolina hemlock is often planted as an ornamental. Tannin from the bark of Carolina hemlock was formerly extracted for use in processing leather [7,16]. OTHER MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS : Information concerning management practices for Carolina hemlock is lacking. However, management practices for the very similair species eastern hemlock (Tsuga canadensis) have been outlined [6].


SPECIES: Tsuga caroliniana
GENERAL BOTANICAL CHARACTERISTICS : Carolina hemlock is a native, slow-growing, coniferous, evergreen tree usually 40 to 70 feet (12-21 m) tall and 8 to 12 inches (20-30 cm) in d.b.h. [4,8,15]. Heights of 150 to 180 feet (46-55 m) and diameters of 5 to 6 feet (1.5-1.8 m) have been reported [8]. Carolina hemlock has a long slender trunk and a narrow crown of slightly drooping branches. The leaf blades spread from the twig in all directions. The cones are 1.0 to 1.5 inches (2.5-3.8 cm) long, and the seeds are the longest of any of the native hemlocks [18]. The bark on younger trees is flaky and scaly and on older trees, deeply furrowed. The root system is shallow and spreading [2,6,8]. RAUNKIAER LIFE FORM : Phanerophyte REGENERATION PROCESSES : Seed production and dissemination: Carolina hemlock begins producing seed at about age 20, but good crops do not occur until the trees are are 25 and 30 years. The lightweight seed are wind dispersed. Carolina hemlock seed averages of 187,000 seeds per pound (415,000/kg) [14,16]. Vegetative Reproduction: Like other hemlocks Carolina hemlock does not sprout and only rarely layers. Vegetative propagation by cuttings and grafting are limited to ornamental production [6]. SITE CHARACTERISTICS : Carolina hemlock is common on rocky slopes and ridges of the Appalachian Mountains at elevations between 2,100 and 4,000 feet (400-1,220 m) [7,8]. Typically, most soils are very acidic (between 3.5-4.5 pH), but some are near neutral. The heavy, slowly decomposing litter fosters podzolization as the stand increases in age [7,8]. Other associates of Carolina hemlock in addition to the cover type species are eastern hemlock (T. canadensis), Carolina silverbell (Halesia carolina), American holly (Ilex opaca), mountain rosebay (Rhododendron catawbiense), mountain-laurel (Kalmia latifolia), and oak (Quercus spp.) [7,8,9]. SUCCESSIONAL STATUS : Obligate Climax Species Carolina hemlock is very shade tolerant. It will gradually replace earlier established species and become dominant in very late stages of succession. Carolina hemlock can be considered a climax species because it is difficult for other species to invade and grow under its canopy [7]. SEASONAL DEVELOPMENT : Carolina hemlock pollination occurs from March to the end of April. The cones ripen from late August to late September of the next year; the seed is dispersed from September through the winter [18].


SPECIES: Tsuga caroliniana
FIRE ECOLOGY OR ADAPTATIONS : Currently, very little information on the fire ecology of Carolina hemlock is available in the literature. Starker [19,20] lists other species of hemlock as having an intermediate resistance to fire. POSTFIRE REGENERATION STRATEGY : Tree without adventitious-bud root crown Secondary colonizer - off-site seed


SPECIES: Tsuga caroliniana
IMMEDIATE FIRE EFFECT ON PLANT : Presumably, seedlings and saplings of Carolina hemlock are killed by fire. DISCUSSION AND QUALIFICATION OF FIRE EFFECT : NO-ENTRY PLANT RESPONSE TO FIRE : DISCUSSION AND QUALIFICATION OF PLANT RESPONSE : NO-ENTRY FIRE MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS : Carolina hemlock is favored by fire suppression. Humphrey [7] reports that the slow-growing Carolina hemlock will have time to develop a mature population only on sites where fire is infrequent.


SPECIES: Tsuga caroliniana
REFERENCES : 1. Conover, M. R.; Kania, G. S. 1988. Browsing preference of white-tailed deer for different ornamental species. Wildlife Society Bulletin. 16: 175-179. [8933] 2. Duncan, Wilbur H.; Duncan, Marion B. 1988. Trees of the southeastern United States. Athens, GA: The University of Georgia Press. 322 p. [12764] 3. Eyre, F. H., ed. 1980. Forest cover types of the United States and Canada. Washington, DC: Society of American Foresters. 148 p. [905] 4. Fernald, Merritt Lyndon. 1950. Gray's manual of botany. [Corrections supplied by R. C. Rollins]. Portland, OR: Dioscorides Press. 1632 p. (Dudley, Theodore R., gen. ed.; Biosystematics, Floristic & Phylogeny Series; vol. 2). [14935] 5. Garrison, George A.; Bjugstad, Ardell J.; Duncan, Don A.; [and others]. 1977. Vegetation and environmental features of forest and range ecosystems. Agric. Handb. 475. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. 68 p. [998] 6. Godman, R. M.; Lancaster, Kenneth. 1990. Tsuga canadensis (L.) Carr. eastern hemlock. In: Burns, Russell M.; Honkala, Barbara H., technical coordinators. Silvics of North America. Volume 1. Conifers. Agric. Handb. 654. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: 604-612. [13421] 7. Humphrey, L. David. 1989. Life history traits of Tsuga caroliniana Engelm. (Carolina hemlock) and its role in community dynamics. Castanea. 54(3): 172-190. [19840] 8. James, R. L. 1943. Carolina hemlock--wild and cultivated. Castanea. 24: 112-134. [19841] 9. Komarek, Edwin V., Sr. 1979. Fire: control, ecology, and management. In: Fire management in the northern environment: Proceedings of symposium; 1976 October 19-21; Anchorage, AK. BLM/AK/PROC-79/01. Anchorage, AK: U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management: 48-78. [15391] 10. Kuchler, A. W. 1964. Manual to accompany the map of potential vegetation of the conterminous United States. Special Publication No. 36. New York: American Geographical Society. 77 p. [1384] 11. Little, Elbert L., Jr. 1975. Rare and local conifers in the United States. Conservation Research Rep. No. 19. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. 25 p. [15691] 12. Little, Elbert L., Jr. 1979. Checklist of United States trees (native and naturalized). Agric. Handb. 541. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. 375 p. [2952] 13. Lyon, L. Jack; Stickney, Peter F. 1976. Early vegetal succession following large northern Rocky Mountain wildfires. In: Proceedings, Tall Timbers fire ecology conference and Intermountain Fire Research Council fire and land management symposium; 1974 October 8-10; Missoula, MT. No. 14. Tallahassee, FL: Tall Timbers Research Station: 355-373. [1496] 14. Owens, John N.; Molder, Marje. 1975. Sexual reproduction of mountain hemlock (Tsuga mertensiana). Canadian Journal of Botany. 53: 1811-1826. [19164] 15. Radford, Albert E.; Ahles, Harry E.; Bell, C. Ritchie. 1968. Manual of the vascular flora of the Carolinas. Chapel Hill, NC: The University of North Carolina Press. 1183 p. [7606] 16. Randall, Charles Edgar. 1968. Enjoying our trees. Washington, DC: The American Forestry Association. 122 p. [1933] 17. Raunkiaer, C. 1934. The life forms of plants and statistical plant geography. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 632 p. [2843] 18. Ruth, Robert H. 1974. Tsuga (Endl.) Carr. hemlock. In: Schopmeyer, C. S., ed. Seeds of woody plants in the United States. Agric. Handb. 450. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: 819-827. [7770] 19. Starker, T. J. 1932. Fire resistance of trees of northeast United States. Forest Worker. 8(3): 8-9. [81] 20. Starker, T. J. 1934. Fire resistance in the forest. Journal of Forestry. 32: 462-467. [82] 21. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Soil Conservation Service. 1982. National list of scientific plant names. Vol. 1. List of plant names. SCS-TP-159. Washington, DC. 416 p. [11573] 22. Van Dersal, William R. 1938. Native woody plants of the United States, their erosion-control and wildlife values. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture. 362 p. [4240]

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