Tsuga canadensis 'Cole's Prostrate'
Common Name: Canadian hemlock
Type: Needled evergreen
Family: Pinaceae
Zone: 3 to 7
Height: 0.50 to 1.00 feet
Spread: 2.00 to 4.00 feet
Bloom Time: Non-flowering
Bloom Description: Non-flowering
Sun: Part shade to full shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Leaf: Evergreen
Other: Winter Interest
Tolerate: Deer, Heavy Shade, Black Walnut


Grow in average, medium moisture, well-drained soils in part shade to full shade. Tolerates full sun in northern parts of its growing range. Intolerant of drought and should be watered regularly in prolonged dry spells, particularly when young.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Canadian or eastern hemlock is a dense, pyramidal conifer that is native to eastern Canada, northeastern U. S. (Wisconsin to Maine) and the Appalachian Mountains. It grows to 75’ tall in the wild. ‘Cole’s Prostrate’ is a slow-growing, dwarf prostrate form that is typically grown as a ground cover. It spreads flat on the ground usually exposing bare branches in the center over time. The silver-white branch bark contrasts well with the dark green needled foliage. Over the first 10 years, ‘Cole’s Prostrate’ will rise to as much as 1’ tall with a spread to 2-4’. Plants will edge down slopes, spread over flat ground, crawl over smaller rocks or creep over the edge of a wall.


A healthy plant in the proper environment has few problems. Potential disease problems for plants in the genus Tusga include needle blight (needles turn yellow and die), canker, rusts and rots. Potential insect problems include bagworms, borers, leaf miner, saw fly and spider mites. Woody adelgid (an aphid) is particularly troublesome in the Northeast where it can be fatal. Foliage may scorch in very hot weather.

Garden Uses

An excellent evergreen ground cover for small shaded areas. Rock gardens. Foundations. Bonsai.