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Eastern hemlock

The tiny cones and flat needles of a hemlock tree

Eastern hemlock

Hemlock tree description TreeNA post

About the hemlock tree

Eastern hemlock - Tsuga canadensis

Identification: The hemlock can be identified by its needle arrangement: soft, flat needles attach singly to bumpy “pegs” on stems. The undersides of the needles have 2 white stripes called stomatal bands. The Eastern hemlock’s bark is thick with a reddish-brown coloration. The ridges on the bark are scaly and flat-topped, forming plates. The hemlock’s seeds grow in ½-1-inch, oval pinecones. Trees have a pyramid shaped growth pattern. 

Height: 70-100 feet 

Preferences: Partial sun. Hardiness zones 3-8. Prefers moist conditions.

Wildlife value: Hemlocks provide cover and wind breaks for many kinds of wildlife including whitetail deer and songbirds. Several types birds including warblers nest in hemlocks. The cones from the hemlock trees provide food for small mammals such as red squirrels, along with birds like black-capped chickadees.

Uses: Hemlock wood is often used for construction purposes including plywood, framing and crates. Hemlocks are frequently used as ornamental trees in landscaping for their graceful look.