Tsuga canadensis 'Gentsch White' / Gentsch White Canadian hemlock

Tsuga canadensis 'Gentsch White' is a low-maintenance dwarf that selection of Canadian hemlock that grows well in medium to full shade, although it can handle full sun in northern latitudes. Like all hemlocks, which are under-story trees, this conifer should not be allowed to dry out during prolonged heat spells. The heat, combined with full sun, will scorch the white new growth for which it is prized.

Iseli Nursery of Boring, Oregon describes it as, "a variegated globose shrub. Creamy white branch tips are especially intense in Fall and Winter. Annual shearing is advised to maintain a compact habit and to promote the white new growth." After 10 years of growth, a mature specimen will measure 4.5 feet (1.5 m) tall and wide, an annual growth rate of 4 to 6 inches (10 - 15 cm).

This cultivar originated as a seedling selected in the 1960s by Otto Gentsch of Long Island, New York, USA. It was first introduced under the illegitimate cultivar name, 'Variegata Gentsch.'

Tsuga canadensis 'Gentsch White' — a choice specimen at PorterHowse Farms, Sandy, Oregon.
Photo by Don Howse
Tsuga canadensis 'Gentsch White' in a private garden in Kansas, October 2006.
Photo by David Stegmaier
Tsuga canadensis 'Gentsch White' — a 15-year-old plant in a private garden in Brunswick, Maine, 2013.
Photo by Sean Callahan
Tsuga canadensis 'Gentsch White' — a closeup of foliage detail.
Photo by Sean Callahan


Karen Rafferty

Would like some information on this shrub please. I have property with 2 steep banks on and want to fill in with something beautiful and not more than 6' tall. Loving the looks of this shrub. Tsuga Dwarf Canadian Hemlock., Gentsch White.
Also if I purchase a quantity of many would I be able to get a cost reduction than buying a single shrub?

Maxwell Cohn

it'll probably work ... in order to keep it that small, you'll have to shear it back every year or two.

The American Conifer Society has no way of knowing what kind of bulk discount you can arrange with your local nursery.

Randy Roberts

We have had a 'Gentsch Whte' hemlock for five years in NE Indiana in a shady location. It is gorgeous and doing well.