Eastern Hemlock Tsuga canadensis
Family: Pinaceae (Pine)
often found with hardwood broadleaf trees, such as Sugar Maple.
It has flattened needles that come off the twig in a horizontal
line, like Balsam Fir often does. In fact, it is most easily
confused with Balsam Fir. The bark is different, though; young
Firs have smooth bark with raised "blisters" full of resin, while young
Hemlock becomes flaky while still fairly small. When mature,
Balsam Fir is still more smooth than Hemlock. Also, when seen
from below, Hemlock twigs near the end of the branch are much less
symmetrical than Fir. Balsam Fir needles are strictly opposite,
while some of Hemlock's small twigs are alternate.
The underside of Hemlock needle. Notice how they appear whitish underneath
and the small twigs are more alternate than opposite.
The top of Hemlock needles
Young Hemlock bark
Seen from below, Hemlock tends to have a bluish-green look
Mature Hemlock bark. This particular picture shows it a little more red than usual
Back to the
© 2008 Josh Sayers
please email me with any questions, comments, or errors