Canadian Hemlock (Tsuga canadensis)
The Canadian Hemlock is also called the Eastern Hemlock. These Hemlocks grow about ½ to 1 foot a year. Their red-brown bark is scaly when the trees are young, and becomes deeply ridged with age. This tree often grows more than one trunk. Canadian Hemlock will keep its lower branches for many years making a prime candidate for a hedge. When it gets fairly old, it loses some lower branches, but by then it is not worth keeping as a hedge anyway.
Hemlock leaves are actually very fine-textured needles. They are arranged along the twigs on a flat plane. Only about ¾ inch long, they are flat with rounded or slightly indented tips. They are dark green, with 2 whitish bands on their undersides. Needles are evergreen, lasting over a period of 3 to 5 years, some always being replaced.
These trees bear cones in May through early June. They are ¾ inch long and hang at branch tips, causing them to dip gently. Male cones are light yellow and female ones are light green. In the fall they turn brown, bearing seeds from September through January. Its annual growth rate is 12 to 18 inches. The Canadian Hemlock is the state tree of Pennsylvania.
Canadian Hemlock Choices
There are many cultivars of Hemlock including many with different colors. They include .Albospica with foliage that is tipped with white; Betty Rose that is a small plant that produces flushes of new growth with white variegations; Cappy's Choice is a low shrub with light green foliage flushed with yellow; Everitt Golden has branches that are ascending. The young foliage is yellow but becomes darker; and Frostie with foliage that has white variegations.
Many cultivars have a weeping habit including: Pendula. Sargentii and Ashfield Weeper that an irregular, weeping habit for a shrub
There are many cultivars of Canadian Hemlock that are dwarfs, with some low enough to be ground covers. They include: Bennett, Coles Prostrate; Aurea Compacta which is a dwarf with bright gold foliage; Beehive is a dense dwarf with a globe shape; Curly –is an upright dwarf with curled foliage; and Horsford Contorted is an interesting dwarf with twisted branches. The groundcover versions include Bennett which is a slow growing, spreading, horizontal plant that will grow 2 feet tall and spread 4 feet. Then we have Cole's Prostrate that is a slow-growing dwarf that is less than a foot tall and will spread 3 feet.
Canadian Hemlock Seeds Available From Amazon.com