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Canadian Hemlock Tsuga canadensis

Other Common Name(s):

Description

Tsuga canadensis, commonly called Canadian hemlock or eastern hemlock, is a dense, pyramidal conifer of the pine family that is native to moist woods, moist slopes, rocky hillsides/ridges, wooded ravines, and stream valleys from eastern Canada south to Maine and Wisconsin and further south in the Appalachian Mountains to Georgia and Alabama. It grows to 40-75’ tall in the wild. This species is noted for having the smallest needles and cones in the genus.

Its lower branches often dip toward the ground. The thick and ridged bark on mature trees is red-brown to gray-brown. 

 

Seasons of Interest: 

     Bloom:  Spring    Fruit/Seed/Nut: Fall

 

Insects, Diseases, or Other Plant Problems:  A healthy plant in the proper environment has few problems. Potential disease problems for plants in the genus Tusga include needle blight (needles turn yellow and die), canker, rusts and rots. Potential insect problems include bagworms, borers, leaf miner, saw fly and spider mites. The foliage may scorch in very hot weather. Prolonged drought can be fatal to this tree.

Hemlock woolly adelgid (HWA) is a tiny (1/32”) sap-sucking insect (relative of the aphid) that has recently become a serious threat to the survival of native hemlocks in the wild in the eastern United States. HWA was accidentally introduced into the U. S. in the 1920s from Eastern Asia. It has been known to exist in the Pacific Northwest since 1927, but was first observed in the forests of Virginia in the 1950s. It has now spread from Virginia into the southern and middle Appalachians. Inability to survive cold winters has so far substantially limited HWA’s northern spread to as far as Massachusetts, but northward expansion into much of New England is expected as winter temperatures continue to moderate. HWA has killed most of the old growth hemlocks in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and 95% of the hemlocks in Shenandoah National Park. HWA was discovered in Pennsylvania’s Allegheny National Park in November of 2013. Treatment of HWA is available (pesticides containing imidacloprid or dinotefuran), but control of this pest is very difficult.

 

Compare this plant to:   Tsuga candensis 'Jeddeloh'

Cultivars:
  • 'Curly'
  • 'Gentsch White'
  • 'Jeddeloh' (shrub)
  • 'Sargenti Pendula'
Tags:
#native#evergreen#wildlife plant#native tree#shade tolerant#low maintenance#tsc#hedge#slope#winter cover#small mammals#cpp#amphibians#deer resistant#fish#screens
Cultivars:
  • 'Curly'
  • 'Gentsch White'
  • 'Jeddeloh' (shrub)
  • 'Sargenti Pendula'
Tags:
#native#evergreen#wildlife plant#native tree#shade tolerant#low maintenance#tsc#hedge#slope#winter cover#small mammals#cpp#amphibians#deer resistant#fish#screens
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Tsuga
    Species:
    canadensis
    Family:
    Pinaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    North America
    Wildlife Value:
    It provides winter and extreme weather coverage.  Red crossbills and small mammals eat the seeds.  Ruffled grouse eat the buds and white-tailed deer browse the foilage in winter.  It is an important thermal cover component along streams for amphibians and fish.
    Play Value:
    Wildlife Enhancement
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    This tree is moderately resistant to damage from deer.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 30 ft. 0 in. - 80 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 15 ft. 0 in. - 30 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Native Plant
    Tree
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Needled Evergreen
    Habit/Form:
    Dense
    Pyramidal
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Fine
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Available Space To Plant:
    24-60 feet
    more than 60 feet
    NC Region:
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    Usda Plant Hardiness Zone:
    3a, 3b, 4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Cream/Tan
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Fruit Description:
    The Eastern hemlock has small, pendant, short-stalked, seed-bearing cones (to 3/4" long) that are tan-brown in color.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    Flower Description:
    In the spring, small yellow male and small light green female flowers mature.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Needled Evergreen
    Leaf Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Cream/Tan
    Green
    Leaf Type:
    Needles
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Opposite
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Description:
    Flat sprays of lacy evergreen foliage give this tree a graceful form. Short dark green needles (to 9/16" long) with two white bands beneath are arranged in two opposite rows. Its needles are attached to twigs by slender stalks
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Dark Brown
    Dark Gray
    Red/Burgundy
    Surface/Attachment:
    Ridges
    Bark Description:
    The thick and ridged bark on mature trees is red-brown to gray-brown.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Theme:
    Native Garden
    Design Feature:
    Hedge
    Screen/Privacy
    Shade Tree
    Attracts:
    Songbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer