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Lewis & Clark as Naturalists
The Journals Lewis and Clark as Naturalists

mountain hemlock

Capt. Lewis, February 5, 1806--Fir No. 2 is next in dignity in point of size. it is much the most common species, it may be sa[i]d to constitute at least one half of the timber in this neighbourhood. it appears to be of the spruse kind. it rises to the hight of 160 to 180 feet very commonly and is from 4 to 6 feet in diameter, very streight round and regularly tapering. the bark is thin of a dark colour, and much divided with small longitudinal intersticies ; that of the boughs and young trees is somewhat smoth but not so much so as the balsom fir nor that of the white pine of our country. the wood is white throughout and reather soft but very tough, and difficult to rive. The trunk of this tree is a simple branching diffused stem and not proliferous as the pines & firs usially are but like most other trees it puts forth buds from the sides of the small boughs as well as their extremities. the stem usually terminates in a very slender pointed top like the cedar. The leaves are petiolate, the footstalk small short and oppressed; acerose reather more than half a line in width and very unequal in length, the greatest length being little more than half an inch, while others intermixed on every part of the bough are not more than a 1/4 in length. flat with a small longitudinal channel in the upper disk which is of a deep green and glossey, while the u[n]der disk is of a whiteish green only; two ranked, obtusely pointed, soft and flexable. this tree affords but little rosin. the cone is remarkably small not larger than the end of a man's thumb soft, flexable and of an ovate form, produced at the ends of the small twigs.

Capt. Clark, February 5, 1806--Fur No. 2. is next in dignity in point of size. it is much the most common species, it may be said to constitute one half of the tim ber of this neigh bourhood. it appears to be of the spruce kind. it rises to the higth of 160 or 180 feet very commonly and is from 4 to 6 feet in diameter, very streight round and regularly tapering. the bark is thin of a dark colour, and much divided with small longitudinal interstices; that of the boughs and young trees are somewhat smoth but not so much so as the balsom fir, nor that of the white pine of our countrey. the wood is white throughout and rather soft but rather tough and dificuelt to rive. The trunk of this tree is simple branching, diffused stem and not proliferous as the pine and fir usially are, but like most other trees it puts fo[r]th buds from the sides of the small boughes as well as from their extremities. the stem usially terminate in a very slender pointed top like the Cedar. The leaves are petiolate, the footstalk small short and oppressed, acerose, reather more than 1/2 a line in width and very uneaqual in length, the greatest length being a little more than half an inch, while others intermixed on every part of the bough are not more than a 1/4 of an inch in length. flat with a small longitudinal channel in the upper disk which is of a Deep green and glossy, while the under disk is of a whitish green only; two ranked, obtusely pointed, soft and flexable. this tree affords but little rosin. the Cone is remarkably small, not larger than the end of a mans thumb soft, flexable and of an oval form, produced at the end of a small twig.

 
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