Eastern Hemlock Tsuga canadensis (Linnaeus) Carriere    
Kingdom Plantae   >   Division Coniferophyta   >   Class Pinopsida   >   Order Pinales   >   Family Pinaceae   >   Genus Tsuga   

Status:

Eastern Hemlock occurs from Nova Scotia west to Lake Superior, south through the Lake States, in the northeastern United States, and south along the Appalachians to Georgia. Hemlock can grow on many kinds of soils, but develops best on sites with plenty of moisture. It is highly shade tolerant and fire intolerant.

Description:

Hemlock's leaves, or needles, are arranged in flat sprays, are not prickly at tips, and have two white stripes on the undersides. Each needle is attached to the twig by a short stalk. Bark is at first flaky or scaly, then becomes furrowed and on mature trees is divided into irregular, rectangular blocks. Seed-bearing cones are small and brown, the individual scales roundish.

Where to find:

Prefers moist soil, and is common in narrow, shaded valleys, mostly in the mountain zone. A stand of unusually large trees grows in Swallow Falls State Park, on the Youghiogheny River in Garrett County (Brown and Brown, 1972). A number of these trees have been treated for the Hemlock Woolly Adelgid, which has been killing hemlocks throughout their range. (For details on treatment, see the Maryland Department of Agriculture Hemlock Woolly Adelgid Management Plan, online.)

Relationships:

Highly threatened by the Hemlock Woolly Adelgid. A variety of moth species use Eastern Hemlock as a host plant including Comstock's Sallow Moth, Northern Pine Tussock Moth, Larch Tolype, Northern Variable Dart, Gray Spruce Looper Moth, Black Zigzag Moth, Pale-winged Gray Moth, White Triangle Tortrix Moth, and Angle-winged Emerald.

Deer browse the twigs. Red Squirrels and a few songbirds eat the seeds and Ruffed Grouse eat the buds and leaves (Brown and Brown, 1972).

There are 200 records in the project database.

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Eastern Hemlock in Garrett Co., Maryland (6/2008). Photo by Bill Hubick. (MBP list)

Eastern Hemlock in Anne Arundel Co., Maryland (3/4/2011). Photo by Bill Harms. (MBP list)

Eastern Hemlock in Garrett Co., Maryland (8/28/2016). Photo by Bill Hubick. (MBP list)

Eastern Hemlock in Baltimore Co., Maryland (3/19/2017). Photo by Bill Harms. (MBP list)

An Eastern Hemlock, with its typically small cones, in Canaan Valley, Tucker Co., West Virginia (7/9/2012). Photo by Jim Brighton. (MBP list)

Eastern Hemlock in Allegany Co., Maryland (6/26/2015). Photo by Bill Hubick. (MBP list)

An Eastern Hemlock in Garrett Co., Maryland (1/10/2020). Photo by William Blauvelt. (MBP list)

Eastern Hemlock in Howard Co., Maryland (12/19/2018). Photo by Matthew Beziat. (MBP list)

Eastern Hemlock in Garrett Co., Maryland (6/8/2014). Photo by Kimberly Booth. (MBP list)

The trunk of an Eastern Hemlock in Garrett Co., Maryland (10/3/2018). Photo by Josh Emm. (MBP list)

Eastern Hemlock in Howard Co., Maryland (3/19/2017). Photo by Bill Harms. (MBP list)

Eastern Hemlock in Baltimore Co., Maryland (12/24/2019). (c) Charlie Davis, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC). Photo by Charlie Davis. (MBP list)

Eastern Hemlock in Garrett Co., Maryland (9/18/2021). (c) johnbotany, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC). Photo by John Hall. (MBP list)

Eastern Hemlock in Baltimore Co., Maryland (12/24/2019). (c) Charlie Davis, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC). Photo by Charlie Davis. (MBP list)

Eastern Hemlock in Baltimore Co., Maryland (4/27/2020). (c) Dwight Johnson, all rights reserved. Photo by Dwight Johnson. (MBP list)

Eastern Hemlock in Baltimore Co., Maryland (2/19/2020). (c) Peter M Martin, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC). Photo by Peter M Martin via iNaturalist. (MBP list)

Eastern Hemlock in Baltimore Co., Maryland (2/11/2020). (c) Peter M Martin, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC). Photo by Peter M Martin via iNaturalist. (MBP list)

Eastern Hemlock in Baltimore Co., Maryland (4/24/2020). (c) laurabankey, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC). Photo by laurabankey via iNaturalist. (MBP list)

Eastern Hemlock habitat in Garrett Co., Maryland (5/18/2019). Photo by Jim Brighton. (MBP list)

Eastern Hemlock hosting Hemlock Woolly Adelgids in Harford Co., Maryland (4/29/2018). Photo by Josh Emm. (MBP list)

Eastern Hemlocks in Garrett Co., Maryland (4/19/2014). Trees with silver tags have been treated by Maryland Conservation Corps for Hemlock Woolly Adelgid. Photo by Matt Tillett. (MBP list)


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