CANADIAN HEMLOCK VARIANTS AND THEIR PROPAGATION
Alfred J. Fordham
When reproduced from seeds, both in nature and in cultivation, some conifers give rise to many seedlings which are quite unlike the parent plants. These variants, which originate as mutations, generally retain their characteristics when propagated vegetatively. Canadian hemlock (Tsuga canadensis) is an excellent example of a conifer which produces seedlings that vary widely in genetic make-up.
Some idea of the extent of variation in Canadian hemlock is brought out by the fact that through the years the Arnold Arboretum has received plants or propagating material of 280 clones. They were discovered in the woods or in nursery rows by contributors who considered them worthy of perpetuation at a botanical institution. A search of the Arboretum's records reveals that hemlock variants were being received in the infancy of this century-old organization. Some were named and others, as is the case with many received more recently, simply bore descriptive notations such as, "dense form","dense
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