Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Canadian Hemlock, Eastern Hemlock
Tsuga canadensis

Family: Pinaceae (py-NAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Tsuga (SOO-guh) (Info)
Species: canadensis (ka-na-DEN-sis) (Info)

6 vendors have this plant for sale.

5 members have or want this plant for trade.


over 40 ft. (12 m)

15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)
20-30 ft. (6-9 m)

USDA Zone 3a: to -39.9 C (-40 F)
USDA Zone 3b: to -37.2 C (-35 F)
USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)
USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)
USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun


Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:

Grown for foliage

Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings
Provides winter interest

Soil pH requirements:
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall
By grafting

Seed Collecting:
Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds

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There are a total of 17 photos.
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6 positives
3 neutrals
1 negative

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive Hikaro_Takayama On Jun 12, 2012, Hikaro_Takayama from Fayetteville, PA (Zone 6b) wrote:

Really nice, navtive tree... There are some old growth forest areas near where I live that have Eastern Hemlocks that look almost like Redwoods (about 6' in diameter).

One additional note I'd like to add is that this tree is Pennsylvania's State Tree.

Positive LJinWBPA On Apr 30, 2012, LJinWBPA from Wilkes-Barre, PA (Zone 6b) wrote:

In the Pocono Mountains region of PA this tree is everywhere. I'm not sure what kind of eastern hemlock it is aside from the fact that it is Eastern Hemlock. This can be a nice tree especially in natural landscapes but it seems happier in the wild or at least where it has room to do it's own thing. I know many people plant rows of them and try to make them into hedges or shape them into gumdrop shaped things but it tends to look hideous. They do have an advantage of soft foliage, winter color, attractive bright green new growth in the spring, tolerance for damp shade, cold tolerance, and a cozy look- especially several in a semi-natural setting. Just don't try to over-tame it...
If your a perfectionist and have an immaculately manicured suburban or urban garden than there are more "refined" evergreens for that situation but I would recommend this plant in general for people in it's native range.
Also this tree is not related to that infamous "poison hemlock" people read about. I rember people warning others to stay away from "hemlock" as it is poisonous but that is a totally unrelated herb- not the evergreen tree as many mistakenly believe.

Positive junebugblack On Aug 11, 2010, junebugblack from Gadsden, AL (Zone 7b) wrote:

In the late 1980s, I planted a Hemlock tree in Snellville, GA, and one in Milledgeville, GA. As of 2010, both are beautiful! Milledgeville is in middle Georgia, which is really stretching the range of the Hemlock. I've collected seeds from the tree there and will try to grow new little Hemlocks from them.

Positive theNobody14161 On Jan 10, 2010, theNobody14161 from Kalamazoo, MI wrote:

Although wildlife like this plant and it is very shade-tolerant, It is somewhat picky as to nutrient levels and moisture- a good plant if you have the right envionment -a cool, north-facing slope.

Neutral famartin On Aug 25, 2007, famartin from Trenton, NJ wrote:

Beautiful tree in youth. Tends to get ragged in adulthood in central NJ, though this may be more due to the dreaded Wooly Adelgid than the climate or pollution. Would be positive if not for that dreaded insect, but its decimated too many forests (almost all of NJ's native hemlocks have been wiped out) to vote positive.

Neutral raisedbedbob On Feb 6, 2006, raisedbedbob from Walkerton, VA (Zone 7a) wrote:

Not native to this region; it is grown as an ornamental. The light green young needles make a pleasant tea rich in vitamin C.

Neutral smiln32 On Jan 16, 2005, smiln32 from Oklahoma City, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

Trees are pyramidal in shape with finely textured needles. Soil needs to be somewhat rich in organic material and well-drained or the tree won't do very well. It can be propagated by seed or by stem cuttings. If planting this tree for the first time, water it regularly for the first year (careful not to overwater it, or root rot may set in).

Positive lmelling On Jan 8, 2005, lmelling from Ithaca, NY (Zone 5b) wrote:

Canadian Hemlock is native to eastern North America and in the wild can grow up to 120 feet with a tall single bole, but in cultivation usually only reaches 80 feet. Most of the young growth is shade tolerant as it becomes part of the understory within a forest.

Leaves are toothed and mid-green above, silver underneath. Female cones become pendant and drop off during the second year. It likes humus-rich, moist but well drained, slightly acid to marginally alkaline soil in shade to full sun. It also does best in shelter from cold winds. Propagate by sowing seed in containers in an area protected from winter frosts or by rooting half-hardened cuttings in late summer to autumn.

Canadian Hemlock is not poisonous and Native Americans in eastern Canada made a refreshing medicinal tea made from its bark and twigs - it has no connection with the plant of the same name.

Negative oceangirl On Jan 7, 2005, oceangirl from Cape Cod, MA (Zone 7a) wrote:

This is not a negative comment on the plant itself- which I really like, but it is being decimated in the Northeast, and maybe other regions unknown to me, by the Wooly Adelgid.
I have a number of these fast growing, evergreen trees, and one of the largest is dying for sure. I treated it with a systemic insecticide- which I don't like using, but the Adelgids are back and the cost of the treatments it will need to save it are too high. A natural predator has been found and this is still in the experimental stage, as far as I know. I hope it becomes available before it is too late for the trees.

Positive muirwoods On Oct 22, 2004, muirwoods from Malvern, PA wrote:

I planted two Canadian Hemlocks on my property last year and they are doing fine in only a few hours of sun a day. They are known to be the lowest light evergreen tree. The Hemlocks around here get kinda leggy and seem to grow to only about 40 feet tall but about 30 miles away at Longwood Gardens outside of Philadelphia, they have the biggest specimens that may exist in NE US. Giant 120 to 140 foot trees. I can't imagine they get any bigger anywhere.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Houston, Alabama
Milledgeville, Georgia
Snellville, Georgia
Aurora, Illinois
Chicago, Illinois
New Carlisle, Indiana
Hi Hat, Kentucky
Louisville, Kentucky
Mc Dowell, Kentucky
Melvin, Kentucky
Slade, Kentucky
Nottingham, Maryland
Valley Lee, Maryland
Bridgewater, Massachusetts
Lawrence, Massachusetts
Mashpee, Massachusetts
Horton, Michigan
Kalamazoo, Michigan
Longville, Minnesota
Piedmont, Missouri
Trenton, New Jersey
Central Square, New York
Cleveland, Ohio
Downingtown, Pennsylvania
Greencastle, Pennsylvania
Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania
Greenville, South Carolina
Hendersonville, Tennessee
Knoxville, Tennessee
Viola, Tennessee

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