Eastern Hemlock

Tsuga canadensis


Eastern Hemlock has a more rounded shape than the steeple shaped spruces and firs. The upper shoot of the Hemlock often droops over, a feature that is easily seen from a great distance. Though planted frequently in private yards, Hemlocks in the woods can grow to heights of 100' (30m). This specimin was found planted north of the Renfield residence hall at Brandeis University in Waltham, MA.
Hemlock needles are about 1/2" (1.75cm) in length with two parallel white lines running the length of the needle on the underside. On the upper surface of the twig, inverted needles run along it.
Hemlock cones are tiny (up to 1" long) with only a few scales. They hang in great numbers from twigs.
Bark of mature trees is smoothly furrowed with a purplish tint. On younger trees, bark tends to be more scaly.
The upper shoot of the Eastern Hemlock usually flops over.


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