Tsuga canadensis 'Bacon Cristate' / Bacon's Cristate Canadian hemlock

Tsuga canadensis 'Bacon Cristate' is a very special miniature selection of Canadian hemlock. It is a very slow growing, upright tiny tree with dark green needles and curious fasciated branch tips at the terminal branches. Typical rate of growth in most areas is less than one inch (< 2.5 cm) per year, resulting in an irregular clumpy oddity 12 inches (30 cm) tall and 9 inches (22 cm) wide after 10 years in the garden. Its overall structure is similar to that of T. canadensis 'Jervis,' but on a much smaller scale. This is an excellent choice for the shaded rockery.

Ralph Bacon is credited with the origin of this cultivar. He discovered the original plant growing in the wild in 1925 near Newton, New Jersey a small town nestled in the foothills of the Kittatinny mountains. It was first introduced with the provisional name of [Bacon No. 1], a name later changed by the originator. Don Smith of Watnong Nursery, New Jersey introduced it to the nursery trade in 1966. Even though 'Bacon Cristate' is long established in the trade, it is often quite difficult to acquire, remaining a feature of specialty growers.

Attribution from: Derek Spicer and Aris Auders; RHS Encyclopedia of Conifers; ©2012, Kingsblue Publishing

Tsuga canadensis 'Bacon Cristate' — a mature specimen in the Flora Wonder Arboretum at Buchholz Nursery, Gaston, Oregon.
Photo by David Olszyk
Tsuga canadensis 'Bacon Cristate' — a closeup of foliage detail.
Photo by David Olszyk