One of the more shade-tolerant evergreens, the eastern hemlock has many uses, as a specimen, sheared as a hedge, or planted for screening. Native to the eastern U.S., the hemlock resembles a large Christmas tree with its broadly pyramidal, pendulous branches and fine, dark green needles on widely spaced branches that give it a delicate, lacy feel. The tree even has abundant, brown cones that hang from branches like small ornaments.
- Evergreen (foliage year-round)
- North America
- Zone 3
- Zone 4
- Zone 5
- Zone 6
- Zone 7
- Partial sun (4-6 hrs direct light daily)
- Partial shade (4-6 hrs indirect light daily)
- Full shade (4 hrs or less of light daily)
- Alkaline soil
- Acid soil
- Alkaline soil
- Moist, well-drained soil
- Large tree (more than 40 feet)
Tree & Plant Care
- Does not tolerate heat, drought, or urban conditions.
- Shelter in case of strong winter winds to avoid winter burn.
Disease, pests, and problems
- Susceptible to winter burn if not sheltered from strong winds.
Disease, pest, and problem resistance
Native geographic location and habitat
Attracts birds, pollinators, or wildlife
- Over 35 species, including warblers, junco, veery, goldfinch, and blue jay are attracted to this tree by its cones and use it as shelter and a nesting site.
Bark color and texture
Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, texture, and color
- Arrangement: needles are on two rows, with an extra row of flattened needles on the top of stems
- Size: ½” long
- Shape: needle, flattened
- Texture: fine-textured
- Color: dark green
Flower arrangement, shape, and size
Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions
- Type: cones
- Arrangement: hang from branches like small ornaments
- Shape: ovoid
- Color: brown
- Size: 1” long
Cultivars and their differences
Tsuga canadensis ‘Jeddeloh’ (Jeddeloh Eastern Hemlock): 'Jeddeloh' is a low growing (under 3 feet at maturity), mounded shrub. The center of the shrub is shorter than the outer edges, forming a funnel-shaped depression.