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eastern hemlock Tsuga canadensis play

Eastern hemlock is a long-lived conifer of cool eastern climates. It offers valuable shade and shelter to wildlife, and it often planted ornamentally due to its versatility and beauty. The future of eastern hemlock in question due to the spread of the hemlock woolly adlegid, an accidentally introduced sap-feeding insect.

range map Click to see more images. wood grain

Light
Superior shade tolerance allows for regeneration by the shelterwood and group selection methods. Eastern hemlock responds well to release from competition from above and below.

Water
Eastern hemlock will grow on many different soils, from moist to well drained. It is very shade tolerant and grows best with some shade.

Growth

Size
A medium sized tree with a dense, conical crown, fine branches and a drooping terminal shoot reaching up to 80 feet tall, typically a poor natural pruner.

Timber Value
Eastern hemlock is used for light framing, roofing, sheathing, subflooring, boxes, crates, and pulpwood.

Wildlife Value
Eastern hemlock provides shade to aquatic ecosystems and shelter to wildlife, especially deer, during the winter. Large hollow trees are commonly used as dens by black bears.
Attracts voles, squirrels, snowshoe hares, deer, ruffed grouse, turkey, warblers

Insects and Diseases

Fun Facts
Hemlocks were once used for structural timbers, as the wood is known for its nail-holding ability. Hemlock bark was once harvested for tannins. Hemlock woolly adelgid, which appears as small cottony tufts, is causing considerable damage in hemlock's range. Hemlocks can live in deep shade supression for as long as 400 years - and the oldest known specimens are approaching 600 years old.

Latin Meaning
Tsuga: Japanese name / canadensis: of Canada

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Landowner Factsheets © 2004 Virginia Tech Forestry Department, all rights reserved. Text, images, and programming by: Dr. Jeff Kirwan, Dr. John R. Seiler, John A. Peterson, Edward C. Jensen, Guy Phillips, or Andrew S. Meeks.