harvesting mountain hemlock golden sport 'Goldleaf'
The harvest! November 2021

About Tsuga heterophylla ‘Goldleaf’: We discovered this vibrant Western Hemlock sport up by White Pass atop a bluff, making it a challenge to access, and even dangerous once the snow begins. After several years of observation, there was a melt in early November 2021 between snow falls, finally providing an opportunity to access it for harvest!

Tsuga heterophylla vaariegated sport in the Cascade Mountains
Golden sport on Western hemlock tree in the Cascade Mountains!
The unveiling!
Golden branch from a Western hemlock, Tsuga heterophylla
Mike modelling his new Tsuga accessory!
Golden hemlock branch freshly harvested for propagation
Tsuga heterophylla ‘Goldleaf’ showing off beautiful coloration & cones, against a darker background

This beautiful Western hemlock golden sport appears to be dependent on sunlight to bring out it’s color. It was fully exposed to the sun, facing south, without obvious needle burn. In contrast, another of our variegated Tsuga discoveries, ‘Cascade Confetti’ is not sun dependent for it’s golden color. It will be interesting to see how they compare as they get older.

yellow seedling from Western hemlock 'Goldleaf'
Tsuga seedling germinated from cone seed appears yellow!
Tsuga heterophylla, Western hemlock, golden sport, has numerous cones!
Tsuga sport ‘Goldleaf’ with innumerable cones!

This Western hemlock golden sport had numerous cones and there were still some seeds remaining in the opened cones when we harvested the sport! We refrigerated them and the seeds are beginning to germinate. Some of the seedlings appear yellow! Updates to follow!

New cultivar grafts of  Western hemlock, Tsuga heterphylla 'Goldleaf'
New Tsuga heterophylla ‘Goldleaf’ cultivars in progress!

Mike & Paulie Seidel from Crowfoot Nursery kindly grafted and rooted some of the scions. Looking forward to see their progress in the spring!


About Tsuga heterophylla ‘Cascade Confetti’: This colorful Western Hemlock sport was discovered in the late fall 2020, while searching for Abies mutations in a new area that was still accessible since our favorite areas for exploration were already snowed in.

Western hemlock variegated sport, Tsuga heterophylla 'Cascade Confetti'
Tsuga heterophylla ‘Cascade Confetti’

The sport was easy to reach with our pole pruner, and we removed only a portion of it, leaving enough behind to try again later if need be.

Tsuga heterophylla 'Cascade Confetti', harvested sport
Tsuga heterophylla ‘Cascade Confetti’, harvested sport

We were pleased to see the variegated sport close-up. The sport looks quite healthy, with a growth pattern similar to the tree.

Tsuga heterophylla 'Cascade Confetti', close up
Tsuga heterophylla ‘Cascade Confetti’, close up

We also sent some of the scion wood to our friends for rooting and grafting. Our grafts are still looking good after 3 months in the greenhouse…will see if they push!


This Tsuga heterophylla Western hemlock broom cultivar, ‘Medusa’, was discovered while hiking near White Pass in the summer of 2017 but has not yet been propagated. We attempted to hike in last winter but the snow was too deep. The broom is about 15 feet wide and about 1-2 feet tall. It has a beautiful deep dark green color, an irregular form, and produces cones! We are planning to attempt rooting cuttings in the late fall of 2019.

Tsuga heterophylla 'Medusa' Western hemlock broom cultivar has a beautiful deep dark green color, an irregular form, and produces cones!
Tsuga heterophylla ‘Medusa’
Tsuga heterophylla ‘Medusa’ viewed from below


Western hemlock cultivar 'Ghidorah' 1 year old graft
Tsuga heterophylla ‘Ghidorah’

About Tsuga heterophylla ‘Ghidorah’: This rare Western hemlock broom specimen was discovered by Mike & Cheryl Davison in October 2017. It is named after the fictional character “King Ghidorah” because of the unusual appearance of it’s silhouette when viewed from below. Now that it has been successfully propagated, it is 1 of very few Tsuga heterophylla cultivars. Above is a 1 year old graft, photo taken November 1, 2021!

King 'Ghidorah' in flight
Tsuga heterophylla ‘Ghidorah’, a Western hemlock broom
King 'Ghidorah' with one less appendage
King ‘Ghidorah’ has one less appendage

We were able to finally obtain one of Ghidorah’s appendages this fall, 2020! Our friends, Michael and Paulie Seidel, of Crowfoot Nursery, are trying to root some the scion cuttings that were harvested, and they were able to graft it successfully!

Tsuga heterophylla 'Ghidorah' broom cutting
Tsuga heterophylla ‘Ghidorah’ at rest

It looks like ‘Ghidorah’ will be soon spotted throughout the Pacific Northwest!