Tsuga canadensis 'Pendula'
Common Name: Canadian hemlock
Type: Needled evergreen
Family: Pinaceae
Zone: 3 to 7
Height: 4.00 to 5.00 feet
Spread: 8.00 to 10.00 feet
Bloom Time: Non-flowering
Bloom Description: Non-flowering
Sun: Part shade to full shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Hedge
Leaf: Evergreen
Other: Winter Interest
Tolerate: Deer, Heavy Shade, Black Walnut

Culture

Easily grown in average, medium, well-drained soil in part shade to full shade. Prefers cool, moist, humid conditions. Intolerant of drought and should be watered regularly in prolonged dry spells, particularly when young. Best sited in a location protected from strong winds.

Noteworthy Characteristics

This Canadian or eastern hemlock is a weeping evergreen conifer which assumes many different forms depending on how it is grown and pruned. 'Pendula' is often used as a collective name encompassing all weeping hemlock cultivars, including 'Sargentii'. Typically grows 4-5' tall with a spread of 8-10', but, depending upon how it is pruned, may reach 10-15' tall at full maturity. However, with regular pruning, it can be limited to a 2-3' mound of weeping foliage. Flat, dark green needles to 1/2" long with two whitish bands of stomata underneath. Thimble-like, light brown cones to 3/4" long may appear on older plants. No part of this plant is poisonous. The poisonous hemlocks (Cicuta maculata and Conium maculatum) are herbaceous perennials in the parsley family. Michael A. Dirr considers this weeping form to be "one of the most handsome of all conifers."

Problems

A healthy plant in the proper environment has few problems. Potential disease problems include needle blight (needles turn yellow and die), canker and rust. Potential insect problems include bagworms, borers, leaf miners, saw fly and spider mites. Woolly adelgid (an aphid) is particularly troublesome in the Northeast where it can be fatal. Foliage may scorch in very hot weather. Prolonged drought can be fatal.

Garden Uses

Lawn specimen. Group. Screen. Informal hedge. Waterside planting. When growth is limited by regular clipping to 2-3' tall, it can be quite effective as a low, mounded rock garden plant.