Eastern Hemlock Tsuga canadensis
Pine Pinaceae family

Leaves: Needles are flat and soft to touch. They are commonly less than 1" long and are whitened beneath. Hemlock's needles are more flexible than other evergreens.

Flowers/Fruits: Cones are usually 0.5"-1" long, they are smooth and light brown.

Twigs/Bark: Twigs are often browsed by deer, snowshoe hares and cottontail rabbits. Twigs are rough underneath the needles. Bark is commonly dark and rough but does not have deep furrows.

Form/Habitat: Hemlocks can grow 60'-70' on average and maxium hieghts reach to 100'. Overall shape is loose, irregular, and feathery. A common way to identify hemlock from a distance is by its leader shoot (top of tree) which is often drooping, and does not appear strong or stable like the majority of evergreens, with the exception of white pine. Prefers soils that are acidic and moderately moist to wet but well drained, it can be found both in rocky sites and near the edge of swamps. Roots are shallow and widespreading and hemlock is shade-tolerant species.

Interesting Fact: In earlier times, hemlock was not harvested for its timber due to poor wood quality and stonelike hardness of its knots, which would even chip steel blades. As the value of timber increase it was used as railroad ties because it could hold spikes uncommonly well.

NWI Status: FACU

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