Eastern Hemlock (Canadian Hemlock)
Eastern hemlock is a species of conifers found across eastern North America at elevations of 600-1800 meters (2,000-5,900 feet).
|Scientific Name:||Tsuga canadensis|
|Other Names||Canadian hemlock, hemlock spruce|
|Size||31 meters(102 feet); exceptional specimens have been known to grow up to 53 meters(174 feet); straight and monopodial trunks.|
|Leaves (Needles)||Evergreen; flattened and typically distichous; 15 to 20 mm(0.59 to 0.79 inches) in length, could be as short as 5 mm(0.20 in) or as long as 25 mm(0.98 in).|
|Cones (Strobili)||Ovoid; 1.5-2.5cm (0.59-0.98 in) in length, 1-1.5 cm (0.39-0.59in) in width|
|Tree Type||Needled evergreen|
|Branches||Lower branches gravitate towards the ground|
|Shape||Slightly rounded apex, projecting outward|
|Distribution/Range||Ranges from NE Minnesota to Southern Quebec and Nova Scotia, and south in the Appalachian Mountains to Northern Georgia and Alabama.|
|Hardiness Zones||3 to 7|
|Lifespan||250-300 years to reach maturity; may live for 800 years or more|
|Growing Conditions||Winter Conditions: Grows in cool, humid conditions; winter temperatures average about 10°-42° F (-12°-6° C)
Summer Conditions: Temperatures average about 60° F (16° C)
Rainfall: Areas where annual precipitation ranges between 740 mm and 1520 mm
Sunlight: Partial sun/partial shade
Soil Requirements: Sandy, loamy, moist, well-drained, acidic
|Problems||Pest insects such as hemlock wooly adelgid; root rot disease|
|Flowering/Fruiting||Male flowers are yellow, small and round; females light green at branch tips;
Fruits are ovoid, light brown cone, 3-4 inch long with rounded scales, maturing in early fall
|Seed production||During mid-spring female flowers turn into green cones, once these cones turn brown and start to open slightly, seeds are ready to be picked|
|Seedling development||Seeds germinate when the temperature is around 15° C (59° F)|
|Wildlife Value||Black-throated blue warbler, black-throated green warbler, Blackburnian warbler are abundant in eastern hemlock cove forests; the white-tailed deer feed on the hardwood sprouts, foliage, and seedlings|
|Cultivars||More than 300 cultivars including some dwarf forms and weeping shrubs are used; popular varieties are:
|Uses||Lumber is used for crates, general construction, railroad ties; also for pulp and papermaking; the Canadian hemlock makes for a durable and thick hedge|
|Identification of wood||Soft, coarse-grained and light buff in color|
|IUCN Conservation Status||Near Threatened|
- The oldest recorded eastern hemlock, found in Pennsylvania, was more than 554 years old.
- The eastern hemlock is the state tree of Pennsylvania.
- Once it is cut down, the eastern hemlock tends to shed its needles quickly; this makes it unsuitable for being used as a Christmas tree.
- The leaves, twigs, and bark of eastern hemlock are used in tea, which provides relief from coughs, colds, fever, and kidney ailments.