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Eastern Hemlock TSUGA CANADENSIS

Description & features
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Product description

TSUGA CANADENSIS – Eastern Hemlock

Characteristics

Eastern hemlock (Tsuga canadensis) is a large conifer native to the eastern side of North America, where it is found from Nova Scotia in the north all the way down to mountains in Alabama and Georgia. Unlike the western hemlock (Tsuga heterophylla), which is mostly grown as a single-stemmed forestry species in the UK, the eastern hemlock has a propensity to grow multi-stemmed from the base, forming a round head of branches. The short-needled branches arch slightly at the end and the needles are sometimes twisted, revealing pale stripes on the underside. The bark is light brown when young, darkening with age.

Evergreen, Tsuga canadensis grows to about 30m or more in its natural habitat, but may stay smaller in cultivation here, especially if multi-stemmed.

Where to grow

Prefers a moisture-retentive soil that is neutral to acidic, though eastern hemlock is somewhat tolerant of alkaline soils.

Did you know?

The eastern hemlock can grow very large and very old in its native habitat. The largest eastern hemlock recorded in the US was 52 metres tall, near Cataloochee, North Carolina. The oldest on record, at Tionesta, Pennsylvania, was dated to 1425.

Features

Mature height
Very Large - 20 metres+
Spread
15-20 metres
Shape / habit
Conifer
Growth rate
Fast
Soil type
All soil types
Sun levels
Full sun
Partial shade
Difficulty / hard to grow
Easy
Evergreen / Deciduous
Evergreen
Leaf
Green
Scent
Scented Foliage
Hedging
Evergreen Hedge
Conifer Hedge
Uses
Screening
Parkland Tree
Garden Tree
Country/Farmland
Timber producing
Wind break
Sound Barrier

Features

Mature height
Very Large - 20 metres+
Spread
15-20 metres
Shape / habit
Conifer
Growth rate
Fast
Soil type
All soil types
Sun levels
Full sun
Partial shade
Difficulty / hard to grow
Easy
Evergreen / Deciduous
Evergreen
Leaf
Green
Scent
Scented Foliage
Hedging
Evergreen Hedge
Conifer Hedge
Uses
Screening
Parkland Tree
Garden Tree
Country/Farmland
Timber producing
Wind break
Sound Barrier

Aftercare

For the continued healthy growth of your trees, shrubs or hedging it is vital that you follow the advice below.

Watering

The main reason that plants die within 12 months of having been planted is lack of water.  It is essential throughout the spring and summer, to give a heavy enough watering to enable the water to penetrate right down to the deepest root level of the tree.  In hot dry spells give the equivalent of 2 bucketfuls every three days.

Weed Control

One of the most common causes of lack of water is competition from grass.  When trees are first establishing, the grass roots would be at the same level as the tree roots and are far more efficient at taking up water and thus choke the tree.  It is vital for 3 years after planting that your tree or hedge has a circle or strip one  metre wide completely free of grass.  The way to eliminate grass in order of effectiveness is:

  1. Spray off the grass with a glyphosate based weed killer such as Roundup.  Apply each year for the first 3 years.  It is best applied when the tree is dormant as it is absorbed through green leaves and kills the plant off at the roots.
  2. Firmly fit a mulch mat around the base of the tree by tucking the edges into the soil and put a thick layer of bark mulch on top of this.  This can be done after the initial spraying with glyphosate and should avoid the need for further spraying.

Mowing or strimming is NOT an answer to the problem.  Each time you mow, the grass will grow back more vigorously and strimming invariably leads to lacerated trunks.

Staking

If trees are not correctly secured they will rock in the planting pit. Roots not firmly in contact with the soil are unable to take up moisture and nutrients, resulting in die back or death of the tree.  Check, particularly after windy weather, that stakes are still solidly in the ground keeping the base of the trunk firm.  The purpose of the stakes is to anchor the roots.   Flexing in the wind, higher up the trunk, is not necessarily a problem if the roots are firm.

Bellow is list of the correct system to use to secure your trees.

  • 40/60, 60/80, 80/100 whips - Unless rabbit/deer problem no need to stake.
  • 100/125, 125/150  1.2m Cane and Easi tie.
  • 150/175  1.2m square stake and a buckle tie and spacer.
  • 175/250, 6/8, 8/10 15L 1.65 Tree stake and a buckle tie and spacer.
  • All larger trees. 2 x 1.65 Tree stake and cross rail with 38mm cushion spacer and 1m of 38mm strapping.

Ties

Always use our recommended tree ties or strapping.  These are designed and manufactured with the correct amount of give to hold the tree firm without strangling it. They should be checked at the end of each growing season for adjustment as the trunk thickens.  Non proprietary materials such as baler twine will cut into the bark and should not be used.

Protection from Animal Damage

Rabbits, deer, sheep, cattle and horses can all potentially damage trees.  Ask us for advice on the most appropriate guards for your trees or hedge.  Squirrels are also a terrible pest when trees get to about 20ft tall but there is no protection available.


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