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Trees of Wisconsin

Tsuga canadensis (L.) Carriere
Family: Pinaceae

tree branch Hemlock Leaves Hemlock Leaves Hemlock Cone Hemlock Bark
tree branch leaves and cones leaves cone bark

Tsuga canadensis is a native tree with strongly flattened, blunt needles, appearing as if arranged in a single plane from the two sides of the twigs. Each needle has two pale elongate stripes along the under surface (this is not a unique character, similar stripes are also present on several other species). The abruptly narrowed leaf bases distinguish it from the similar Abies balsamea whose leaves are broadly rounded at the base. It has the potential to be a large tree and when it grows in dense stands the ground layer is often nearly bare beneath the trees.

Tsuga canadensis is near the northwestern extreme of its range in Wisconsin, extending a little into eastern Minnesota and then east to Newfoundland and south to Michigan and Maryland, and in the Appalachians south to northern Alabama and Georgia. In Wisconsin the best stands are in the north, but it also extends farther south locally near Lake Michigan in the east and in the southwestern counties. It is an important component of the northern mixed forests and like Thuja occidentalis and Taxus canadensis it appears to suffer from deer overbrowsing the seedlings.

WI Distribution Map


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