Tsuga diversifolia 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Plantae Tracheophyta Pinopsida Pinales Pinaceae

Scientific Name: Tsuga diversifolia (Maxim.) Mast.
Common Name(s):
English Northern Japanese Hemlock
Abies diversifolia Maxim.
Taxonomic Source(s): Farjon, A. 2010. A Handbook of the World's Conifers. Koninklijke Brill, Leiden.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2010-12-16
Assessor(s): Katsuki, T. & Luscombe, D
Reviewer(s): Thomas, P.

A fairly widespread and common species with no major threats and hence it is listed as Least Concern.

Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Endemic to Japan: North and Central Honshu (northwards from Nara Prefecture), Shikoku and Kyushu.
Countries occurrence:
Japan (Honshu, Kyushu, Shikoku)
Additional data:
Lower elevation limit (metres):700
Upper elevation limit (metres):2000
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:It is a very abundant and widespread species in Honshu, elsewhere the populations are small.
Current Population Trend:Stable
Additional data:
Continuing decline of mature individuals:No
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:

Tsuga diversifolia is an evergreen tree (to 25 m) which occurs in the mountains at altitudes between 700 m and 2,000 m a.s.l., on usually podzolic soils developed on volcanic or igneous rock. The climate is cool, with cold, snowy winters and abundant rainfall in summer (annual precipitation 1,000 mm to 2,500 mm). It is in many areas the most common tree species in mixed coniferous forests, being very shade tolerant. Other common conifers are Picea jezoensis, Abies homolepis, A. veitchii, A. mariesii (at high elevations), Larix kaempferi, Pinus parviflora, Thuja standishii, and Thujopis dolabrata var. hondae; broad-leaved trees are e.g. Betula ermanii, B. corylifolia, Sorbus japonica, Alnus hirsuta var. sibirica, and Quercus mongolica var. grosseserrata. Rhododendron spp. and/or Sasa spp. may form a dense undergrowth in the shrub layer, in other, very wet areas only thick moss layers carpet fallen logs and the forest floor. It regenerates very well as it can tolerate dense shade; forms pure stands in places.

Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:No
Generation Length (years):20

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: Northern Japanese Hemlock is exploited in Japan for timber. In the past it mainly provided pulp for paper, but now this commodity, requiring vast resources, mainly comes from abroad. Instead, the use of this species has largely shifted to construction, carpentry, and joinery and, as the wood is generally dense and moderately hard and sometimes attractively figured with reddish brown heartwood and lighter sapwood, it is used for furniture. As and ornamental tree it is planted in Japanese gardens and parks; it is also used in bonsai culture. In Europe and North America it is less commonly used, being slow growing. A dwarf form (cultivar) which grows very slow is used for rockeries. Hemlocks are unsuitable as Christmas trees, because when cut and taken indoors they loose their leaves sooner than any other conifer.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): No major threats to this species have been identified.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Occurs in many protected areas including national parks.

Classifications [top]

1. Forest -> 1.4. Forest - Temperate
suitability:Suitable  major importance:Yes

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Occur in at least one PA:Yes
In-Place Species Management
In-Place Education
  Included in international legislation:No
  Subject to any international management/trade controls:No
3. Monitoring -> 3.1. Population trends
3. Monitoring -> 3.4. Habitat trends

♦  Fibre
 Local : ✓ 

♦  Construction or structural materials
 Local : ✓   National : ✓ 

♦  Pets/display animals, horticulture
 National : ✓  International : ✓ 

♦  Establishing ex-situ production *

Bibliography [top]

Farjon, A. 2010. Conifer Database (June 2008). In: Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life: 2010 Annual Checklist (Bisby F.A., Roskov Y.R., Orrell T.M., Nicolson D., Paglinawan L.E., Bailly N., Kirk P.M., Bourgoin T., Baillargeon G., eds). Reading, UK Available at:

Farjon, A. 2010. A Handbook of the World's Conifers. Koninklijke Brill, Leiden.

IUCN. 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (ver. 2013.1). Available at: (Accessed: 12 June 2013).

Citation: Katsuki, T. & Luscombe, D. 2013. Tsuga diversifolia. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2013: e.T42433A2979949. . Downloaded on 22 June 2018.
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