In 1946, an Oregon newspaper teased Washington for not having a state
tree. The Portland Oregonian picked out the western hemlock (Tsuga
heterophylla) for us, but Washington newspapers decided to choose their
own and selected the popular western red cedar. State Representative
George Adams of Mason County pleaded with the Legislature to adopt the
western hemlock. The hemlock, he said, would become "the backbone of this
state's forest industry." Adams' bill passed the Legislature and was
signed into law in 1947.