Botanical Name: Tsuga canadensis
Common Name: Canadian Hemlock
Origin: E. North America
Notable Feature: The Canadian or Eastern Hemlock is slow-growing, long-lived, and unlike many trees, grows well in shade. It may take 250 to 300 years to reach maturity and may live for 800 years or more. The oldest recorded specimen, found in Tionesta, Pennsylvania, is believed to be at least 554 years old.
Habit: A medium-sized, evergreen tree with a dense, conical crown, fine branches and a drooping terminal shoot reaching up to 80 feet tall; typically a poor natural pruner.
Flower: Species is monoecious (both male and female flowers occur on the same tree). Male flowers – yellow, small, round conelets, arising from the leaf axils; female flowers – light green conelets at the branch tips. Bloom in late spring.
Fruit: Ruddy brown cones, 5/8 to 1” long with rounded scales, and borne on slender stalks which hang decoratively from the branches.
Foliage: Flat needles ½” long, flat, green above and whitened beneath, attached in one horizontal plane to opposite sides of the twigs.
Interesting Fact: Canadian hemlock is the state tree of Pennsylvania. This species is under attack throughout eastern North America by an insect called the hemlock woolly adelgid that was introduced from Japan. It can be identified by its egg sacs which resemble small tuffs of cotton on the undersides of branches.