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The Tsuga heterophylla is an evergreen conifer with drooping branches and furrowed, dark-brown to reddish-brown bark grows to 225 feet tall. It can often be identified from a distance by the drooping new growth at the top of the tree. Needles on the same branch vary in length from ¼ to ¾ inch; are flat, distinctly grooved, glossy yellow-green above, have two broad, white stripes below and form flat sprays. Cones turn from green to brown at maturity, and are abundant, one inch long, oval-shaped, attach directly to the branch, and fall intact to the ground.
Throughout the region, especially in moist conditions. Does best on deep, moist, well-drained soils, and requires high organic content in the soil. Full sun to full shade, though seedlings are often dried out by full sun. Can be found in pure stands or mixed with other species. Not drought-tolerant.
Provides food, nesting, and cover (especially winter cover) for birds and mammals. Seeds are eaten by several species of birds and small mammals.