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Woody > Tsuga > Tsuga canadensis > Tsuga canadensis 'Gentsch White'

Tsuga canadensis

'Gentsch White'

Gentsch White Canadian Hemlock

Origin:  Introduced by seedling selected by Otto Gentsch of Long Island, New York in the 1960. The first illegitimate cultivar name was ‘Variegata Getsch’.
            Mike's Opinion

this is Mike


The Canada Hemlock is a graceful tree suitable for large areas. It would really do justice to put the Hemlock near a pond where it can hang over the water giving it a whimsical appearance. Looks best when left in its natural state; not pruned.

Michael Pascoe, NDP., ODH., CLT., MSc. (Plant Conservation)


'Gentsch White'
Shrub (evergreen)
USDA Hardiness Zone
3 - 7
Canadian Hardiness Zone
Zone 4b
RHS Hardiness Zone
Temperature (°C)
-34 - (-40)
Temperature (°F)
-30 - (-40)
0.9 - 1.5 m
0.9 - 1.5 m
Description and Growing Information
Flowering Period
General Description
A low-maintenance dwarf hemlock with attractive silver-white variegated green foliage and is a slow grower; it can grow up to 1.5 m tall.
An excellent accent shrub that can be used in mass planting, hedges, screenings, or just general garden use.
Grows best in medium moisture with well-drained soils in part shade to full shade. It needs a sheltered location protected from strong drying winds and hot afternoon sun.
A dense, globed shape up to 1.5 m tall.
ID Characteristic
Needled evergreen with dense pyramidal growth habits. Needles at the branch tips are silver-white which gives it an appearance of snow covering the shrub.
Potential disease problems like needle blight, canker, and rots. Other threats include bagworms, borer, leaf miners, hemlock sawflies and spider mites. Foliage also may scorch in very hot weather.
Horticultural origin.
Bark/Stem Description
Multi-stemmed shrub with brown furrows and scaly bark on young plants. This shrub has a high tannin content. It has a thick ridged bark that is red-brown to gray-brown on mature trees (Dirr, 2009, p. 1160).
Flower/Leaf Bud Description
Has spherical shape with fuzzy scales in a light brown colour that is 2 mm in size (Dirr, 2009, p. 1160).
Leaf Description
Needles at the branch tips are silver-white, giving the shrub an appearance of being covered in snow. Inner parts of the needle are a dark green that is about 1.27 cm long with two whitish bands underneath the needles.
Flower Description
Has a monoecious system that has a light yellow staminate and a pale green pistillate (Dirr, 2009, p. 1161).
Fruit Description
Produces light brown thimble-like cones about 1.9 cm long and appear on older plants.
Colour Description
Foliage is white-variegated green foliage that comes out a creamy white during the spring, and the tips turn whiter in the summer. Then in the autumn and winter months, it is more of a creamy hue. Branches are red-brown to grey-brown in colour.
Texture Description
Foliage has a soft and fine texture (Dirr, 2009, p. 1160).
Notable Specimens
A specimen is located at Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis, Missouri, United States of America.
Capable of being propagated by seed or semi-ripe cuttings. Seeds should be propagated in the spring and should be stratified for two months at freezing or slightly above freezing to ensure good germination. They should not be planted in spring or summer, or they will not germinate. Semi-ripe cuttings can be harvested in late autumn or winter, and then you want to use bottom heat to heat the rooting medium.
Ethnobotanical Uses (Disclaimer)
Tannins produced by the bark were once a source for tanning leather. (The Gymnosperm Database, n.d)
Dirr, M.D. (2009) Manual of Woody Landscape Plants. Stipes Publishing L.L.C. American Conifer Society. (n.d.). Tsuga canadensis 'Gentsch White' / gentsch white Canadian