North Trailhead: Eastern Hemlock

Panorama offering a look into a mixed species Pennsylvania woodlot in late February.

North trailhead panorama

I have a special fondness for  the tree species that provide our forests and landscapes with green throughout the year. The eastern hemlock is one such evergreen tree, and it forms much of the backdrop in A Forest Study: North Trailhead.

Like a number of our native tree species, the hemlocks have been compromised throughout most of their range by an invasive insect. The threat to hemlocks comes from the hemlock wooly adelgid.

Pennsylvania's State Tree and an evergreen component of our regional forests

Young Eastern Hemlock

You can generally spot hemlocks from a distance, and distinguish them from other evergreen species such as pines, spruces, and firs. The key is the top, newest growth of the tree. This area droops to one side in the hemlocks, while it remains vertical in the other species.

Do you have any photos of eastern hemlocks that you would like to share? Whether it’s an impressive old giant, a beautiful woods scene, or even a demonstration of insect damage, I’d love to have you share them. Please use the comments section below to submit photos, make comments, or ask questions.


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