Eastern hemlock is a coniferous tree in the pine family (Pinaceae). When mature, the trees are pyramidal in shape and can reach heights of up to 70 to 100 ft. They are often found in small groups on small hills or in ravines.
The needles on the Eastern hemlock are attached singly. They are flat and attached to a small “peg” on the stem. The undersides of the needles have 2 stomatal bands, which look like 2 “racing stripes”, going from the base of the needle to the tip of the needle.
Eastern hemlock’s bark is thick with a reddish-brown coloration. The ridges on the bark are scaly and flat-topped, forming plates.
Like all members of the pine family, the eastern hemlock has a seed cone. Compared to other seed cones from other species within the pine family, the cones on the hemlock are small in size. They are oval-shaped and the scales of the seed cone are smooth.
Department of Natural Resources