Tsuga canadensis (Fr: pruche du Canada | En: eastern hemlock)
The Eastern Hemlock (Tsuga canadensis), is a magnificent tree that often dominates wet sandy forests, such as the Acadian forests of the maritimes.
Hemlock is an important tree ecologically, providing habitat and food for a variety of wildlife species, including porcupines, birds,and deer. Its canopy provides a deep shade that keeps the understory about 2 Celsius colder than maple forests. This is important for spawning salmon, which need cool waters and often spawn in streams surrounded by hemlock. Their branches also point downward, unlike many other trees, this means that they do not sway as much as other trees and hemlock forests are quieter than other forests.
This tree prefers to grow in cool, moist environments, such as hemlock swamps, stream banks, and north-facing slopes. It is shade tolerant and can grow in full sun, although it prefers partial to full shade. It can adapt to a variety of soil types, including rocky and clay soils, but it requires moist soil conditions to thrive.
The Eastern Hemlock can be a very slow-growing tree in shady conditions, reaching a height of up to 30 meters at maturity, with a pyramidal shape. It has a long lifespan, with some trees living over 800 years.
Height: 20 meters
Habitat: North sides of hills, hemlock swamps, rich moist forests
Sun requirements: Shade tolerant
Moisture requirements: Moist
Soil requirements: Various