(Pinaceae Tsuga canadensis)
Adopted on June 23, 1931.
State tree as enacted by the General
Assembly on June 23, 1931.
The Hemlock, Pinaceae Tsuga
canadensis, was a sturdy ally to the
state's first settlers. Many a pioneer
family felt better protected from the
elements and their enemies inside log
cabins made from the patriarch of
Eastern hemlock also called
Canada hemlock or hemlock spruce, is a
slow-growing long-lived tree which
unlike many trees grows well in shade.
It may take 250 to 300 years to reach
maturity and may live for 800 years or
more. A tree measuring 193 cm (76 in) in
d.b.h. and 53.3 m (175 ft) tall is among
the largest recorded. Hemlock bark was
once the source of tannin for the
leather industry; now the wood is
important to the pulp and paper
industry. Many species of wildlife
benefit from the excellent habitat that
a dense stand of hemlock provides. This
tree also ranks high for ornamental
- Leaf: Evergreen, 1/2 inch
long, dark green in color, with 2
lines of white stomata below. Tips
are blunt. Needles are two-ranked.
- Flower: Monoecious; males
yellow, small, round; females light
green at branch tips.
- Fruit: Ovoid, 3/4 inch
long with rounded, entire scales.
Maturing September to October.
- Twig: Fine, gray-brown in
- Bark: On young trees,
gray-brown, smooth, turning scaly.
Older trees are red-brown with wide
ridges and furrows. When cut or
broken, purple streaks are obvious.
- Form: A medium-sized tree
with a dense, conical crown, fine
branches and a drooping terminal
shoot. Typically a poor natural
||Plantae -- Plants
||Spermatophyta – Seed
||Coniferophyta – Conifers
||Pinaceae – Pine family
||Tsuga Carr. – hemlock
Tsuga canadensis (L.)
Carr. – eastern hemlock
Dendrology at Virginia Tech
U.S. Department of Agriculture