eastern hemlock
Tsuga canadensis

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.

Click to see more images.
Light Water
Growth   Size

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

Regeneration methods
      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.

Important Problems Early Detection tips
hemlock woolly adelgid white cottony substance on lower needle surfaces; declining foliage color and density

Fun facts
Hemlocks were once used for structural timbers, as the wood has tremendous nail-holding ability. Hemlock bark was once harvested for tannins. Hemlock wooly 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 - dominant, healthy specimens can live as long as 800 years.
Tsuga: Japanese name / canadensis: of Canada
Home - I.D. Fact Sheet - USDA Silvics Manual - Additional Silvics - VT Dendro

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.

questions, comments, and criticisms: email John.Peterson@vt.edu