Canadian Hemlock Tree

Are you considering planting a Canadian Hemlock tree? Do you want to learn about what a Canadian Hemlock tree is? Read our guide for more facts and information…

Based on the name of the Canadian Hemlock tree it would appear that the tree would be found in Canada; the Canadian Hemlock tree, however, also extends into the north-eastern part of the United States. The Canadian Hemlock tree is native to Eastern North America. The tree typically is found naturally in a range extending from north-eastern Minnesota across into Ontario, Quebec and Nova Scotia in Canada. The range of the Canadian Hemlock then reaches to the south towards the states of Georgia and Alabama.  The Canadian Hemlock is also very common in the state of Pennsylvania as evidenced by the fact that it is the state tree. The Canadian Hemlock is also commonly found growing naturally on rocky ridges, hill sides and in ravines.


The Canadian Hemlock tree is an evergreen tree and therefore a coniferous tree as well. The tree is a hardy specimen and unlike other species the Canadian Hemlock grows well in shade as well as in the sun. The Canadian Hemlock also grows well in a variety of soils; however, the tree is shallow rooted so it is important to protect smaller trees during windstorms to avoid them being uprooted.  The Canadian Hemlock tree traditionally grows in a pyramidal form; although, it can withstand shearing and pruning allowing owners the opportunity to shape the tree. It is popular for many people to choose to use the Canadian Hemlock tree as hedges. The tree reaches a good height for a hedge fairly quickly and at their mature height the tree usually reaches a height of 50-75 feet as well as a mature spread of 20-30 feet. The Canadian Hemlock like all evergreen trees has needles rather than leaves. The needles of the tree are small, which creates a fine texture. The tree’s needles are also distinctive as they are dark green on the top and light green on the bottom. The bark of the Canadian Hemlock is also cinnamon red or reddish-brown in colour. The trunk of the Canadian Hemlock grows straight and is rarely forked unlike some other trees.


Canadian Hemlock’s are a good investment as the tree has a long life. Once the Canadian Hemlock has grown a bit, in order to cement its’ shallow roots in the soil the tree takes about 250 to 300 years to reach its maturity. It is also not uncommon for Canadian Hemlock tree’s to have a lifespan exceeding 800+ years.

Interesting Facts

It is of note that the Canadian Hemlock also is known by the names of Eastern Hemlock or Hemlock Spruce. Also, it is good to know that Canadian Hemlock’s are easily transplanted, relative to other trees. For all of the benefits of the Canadian Hemlock, there are a few drawbacks of the tree. Primarily, these trees are a favourite snack of deer, which can lead to damage. Furthermore, in North America the tree is currently being threatened by the hemlock woolly adelgid, which is a bug that is killing the Canadian Hemlock trees.

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