Tsuga Species, 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)




Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun


Grown for foliage


Provides Winter Interest

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


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)

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us



Bloom Color:


Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:


Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

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


This plant is said to grow outdoors 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

Grand Rapids, Michigan

Horton, Michigan

Kalamazoo, Michigan

Longville, Minnesota

Piedmont, Missouri

Trenton, New Jersey

Central Square, New York

Cleveland, Ohio

Blairsville, Pennsylvania

Downingtown, Pennsylvania

Greencastle, Pennsylvania

Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania

Greenville, South Carolina

Hendersonville, Tennessee

Knoxville, Tennessee

Viola, Tennessee

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Jul 14, 2016, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

This is an extraordinarily valuable tree, both as a source of timber and as an ornamental. It is one of three conifers that can tolerate considerable shade (the other two are yews and Microbiota decussata).

Few plants can survive the heavy shade and root competition beneath a hemlock.

Unfortunately, an insect from Asia called the wooly adelgid has been decimating hemlocks in the eastern US. It can be treated with systemic insecticides or with horticultural oil, but the latter is hard to apply to a full-grown tree over 100' tall. Two beetles have been released for biological control, but there is no evidence yet that it's working.

As a designer, I no longer recommend planting hemlocks in eastern North America, as long as the wooly adelgid problem... read more


On Jul 14, 2016, Timberplot from Blairsville, PA wrote:

A native to Pennsylvania, the Eastern Hemlock is a beautiful evergreen. I find a large stand of Eastern Hemlock after a snowfall even more attractive. There are many stands of Hemlock in Western PA which are mature and have seeded providing several age groups within the same stream valley. The shade tolerant saplings are browsed by deer during heavy snowfalls in the winter months. The lumber is used as rough cut "board and batten" siding on many homes and outbuildings in the area. The bark was once sought for its abundance of tannin which was used for tanning hides and making leather. Planted as hedgerows, the Eastern Hemlock looks best lightly trimmed. The hedgerows are high maintenance and other species may serve this purpose better. Some enormous specimen Eastern Hemlock and White Pine ... read more


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.


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 th... read more


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.


On Jan 10, 2010, theNobody14161 from Mahtowa, MN 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.


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.


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.


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).


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 ... read more


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.


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.