Eastern hemlock has a "nodding" form defined by it's limbs and leaders and can be recognized at great distances. Some rank this tree among the "quality plants" to add to the landscape. They are "long-lived, refined in character and have no off-season" according to Guy Sternberg in Native Trees in North American Landscapes. Unlike most conifers, eastern hemlock has to have shade provided by hardwoods to regenerate. Unfortunately, stands of these trees are being damaged by the hemlock wooly adelgid.
Eastern hemlock (Tsuga canadensis), also called Canada hemlock or hemlock spruce, is a slow-growing long-lived tree which unlike many conifers grows well in shade. Hemlock may take 250 to 300 years to reach maturity and may live for 800 years or more.
The eastern and Carolina hemlock is now under attack and in the early stages of being decimated by the hemlock wooly adelgid (HWA) or Adelges tsugae. Adelgids are small, soft bodied aphids that feed exclusively on coniferous plants using piercing-sucking mouth parts. They are an invasive insect and thought to be of Asian origin.
The soil requirements for eastern hemlock are not exacting but generally the tree needs a moist to very moist but with good drained soil. Eastern hemlock grows from sea level to about 2,500 feet in elevation in the northeastern and northern portions of the range.