Tsuga caroliniana
Common Name: Carolina hemlock 
Type: Needled evergreen
Family: Pinaceae
Native Range: Southeastern United States
Zone: 6 to 7
Height: 45.00 to 60.00 feet
Spread: 20.00 to 25.00 feet
Bloom Time: Non-flowering
Bloom Description: Non-flowering
Sun: Part shade to full shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Medium
Leaf: Evergreen
Other: Winter Interest


Easily grown in moist, well-drained soils in part shade to full shade. Prefers cool woodland conditions in part shade locations. Intolerant of drought and should be watered regularly in prolonged dry spells, particularly when plants are young. Site in locations protected from strong winds. Not recommended for planting south of USDFA Zone 7.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Tsuga caroliniana, commonly known as Carolina hemlock, is primarily native to rocky stream beds and slopes in the Appalachian Mountains from Virginia to Georgia, most frequently at elevations of 2500' to 4500'. It is a narrow pyramidal tree with slightly pendulous branches that typically grows in cultivation to 45-60' tall and to 20-25' wide, but may soar to over 100' in its native habitat. Small flattened evergreen needles (to 3/4" long), each with two white stomatal bands beneath, radiate around the stems. Reddish-brown bark develops furrows and ridges with age. Small, nearly sessile, short-stalked seed cones (to 1 1/2" long) mature to dark brown. Tsuga canadensis (Canadian hemlock) is similar to this tree, but has needles in flattened planes (not radiating) and shorter cones.

Genus name of Tsuga is derived from the Japanese name for trees in this genus.

Specific epithet means of North or South Carolina.


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. Susceptible to hemlock woolly adelgid. Other potential insect problems include ambrosia beetle, bagworms, borers, leaf miner, sawfly and mites. Foliage may scorch in very hot weather.


Excellent evergreen for shady areas of the landscape.