* Needles flat, 5/16-9/16" long, with white undersides. Attached to branchlet
by slender stalk.
* Branchlets soft (not spiny) with needles only on the sides. When the
needles have fallen off, the twigs are rough.
* Cones 5/8-1", brown, few-scaled, hanging from ends of branches.
* Bark dark, rough, furrowed.
* Height: 60-70'.
* Habitat: Well-drained or moist woods, inclines.
* Range: Eastern Canada and northeastern United States.
* Hemlock trees are beautiful, but the wood is of poor quality. Saw blades
attempting to cut it would often break when they hit the extremely
hard knots, so hemlocks in the past were saved from clear-cut logging.
Another reason the hemlock survived the axe for so long is that it
makes a poor Christmas tree; the needles fall as the tree dries.
* Tannin in hemlock bark was used by the Indians to soothe burns,
and by early colonists to dye wool and leather.
* Hemlocks are often found growing on inclines, near rushing
water, with their roots straddling rocks. They also tend to grow
in groves, creating deep year-round shade that prevents most
other plants from growing beneath them.