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Tree Campus: Eastern Hemlock

Tree Campus SCC is a multi-year and interdisciplinary college initiative to document, map, and celebrate the incredible diversity of trees planted on the campus. With over 200 species, Shoreline Community College is an arboreal paradise that deserves to b


Eastern Hemlock

Tsuga canadensis (PINACEAE)



E. North America



"Dense stands of eastern hemlock provide excellent wildlife habitat. Cove forests in the southern Appalachian Mountains provide nesting habitat for many species of birds. The black-throated blue warbler, black-throated green warbler, and blackburnian warbler are especially abundant in virgin eastern hemlock cove forests.

Large eastern hemlocks can be climbed by small black bear cubs. In northeastern Minnesota, black bear mothers and cubs spent more than 95 percent of the time in April and May within 600 feet (183 m) of either an eastern hemlock or an eastern white pine (Pinus strobus) larger than 20 inches (51 cm) in d.b.h..

Eastern hemlock has high cavity value for wildlife. Large hollow trees are commonly used as dens by black bears.

The seeds are eaten by birds and mammals, and in the winter the foliage is browsed by white-tailed deer, moose, and snowshoe hares.

In the winter, eastern hemlock browse is moderately preferred by moose and highly preferred by white-tailed deer. In the summer, white-tailed deer prefer hardwood sprouts and seedlings to eastern hemlock. The seeds of eastern hemlock are not as preferred by white-footed mice, red-backed voles, and meadow voles as red pine (Pinus resinosa) and white pine seeds.

Eastern hemlock provides cover to ruffed grouse, wild turkey, fishers, and other wildlife. It provides excellent thermal protection and snowfall interception for moose and white-tailed deer in the winter." [1]


Equity: Cultural and Historical Significance

"From 1880 to 1930, eastern hemlock was extensively harvested for its bark which is a source of tannin.

Eastern hemlock is planted as an ornamental." [1]



"Eastern hemlock wood is of low value because of brittleness and abundant knots. It is used for pulp, light framing, sheathing, roofing, subflooring, and boxes and crates." [1]



[1] Carey, Jennifer H. 1993. Tsuga canadensis. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: [2020, July 9].

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