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Canadian Hemlock

Imagine a peaceful evergreen forest; all cool air and diffused light through cascading deep green branches. Nesting birds sing in the distance. The smell of moss. 

Now imagine this effect in your home landscape. It’s a beautiful thought, and even in landscapes with limited sunlight it is within reach. The shade tolerant Canadian Hemlock has graceful branching and feathery needles that create a soft, natural look in the landscape. 

While most evergreens prefer full sun, this one thrives in part shade. Moist, cool soil in an understory is absolute heaven for these trees. While they can grow quite large in the wild, they are slow and steady growers that won’t quickly outgrow a space. If necessary, they will tolerate pruning. 

Canadian Hemlock Odds and Ends

Canadian Hemlock are perfectly suited to our cold climate once established, but they benefit from some winter protection, like a snow fence, in the first few years. Planting sites with evenly moist, well-drained soil that are protected from drying winds and scorching sun are ideal.

Hemlock has the distinction of being jugalone tolerant, so they can be planted with confidence even if you have black walnut trees in the vicinity. This is a noteworthy feature in the evergreen world.

For gardeners interested in supporting wildlife, Canadian Hemlock is a phenomenal source of protection and food for many birds species throughout the year.