Eastern Hemlock
Tsuga canadensis
Family Tsuga

* 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'.

Natural History:
* Habitat: Well-drained or moist woods, inclines.
* Range: Eastern Canada and northeastern United States.
* Native.

* 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.


Created by: Allaire Diamond and Jiasuey Hsu
Maintained by: Nick Rodenhouse
Created: July 31, 1998
Last Modified: November 21, 2008