Trees of Alabama and the Southeast

Lisa Samuelson, Ph.D.
School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences
Auburn University

Tsuga canadensis

Needles are flat, about 2/3 inch long, and evergreen with white bands on the underside. Twigs are red-brown. Bark is cinnamon brown and deeply furrowed on older trees. The woody cones are 3/4 inch long and unarmed. Eastern hemlock is found on fertile moist sites in the eastern U.S. and is very shade tolerant. Form is up to 37 m (121 ft) in height and 1.2 m (4 ft) in diameter, old growth trees (>500 years of age) may be larger. The crown consists of pendulous graceful branches. The red-brown, light wood is used for pulpwood and construction and was a major source of tannin. This tree provides cover for many animals and the seeds are eaten by birds and small mammals. It is planted as an ornamental in cooler climates.

Photographs by Mike Hogan.

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