Hemlocks | Tsuga
Hemlocks (Tsuga) can be found in North America and eastern Asia. This evergreen coniferous tree can be large or medium-size, bearing conical or irregular crowns with a drooping leading shoot. The gray or brown bark is scaly and deeply furrowed while the horizontally arranged branches bend downwards towards their tips. The glaucous colored leaves can be flattened or slightly angular. This color is because of the presence of stomata below and above the leaves. The cones are cylindrical and the longest. These trees can tolerate shade conditions and even heavy winter, so you will find them in areas with moist, cool temperatures.
Hemlock wood is not typically used for any significant commercial or industrial purposes. It is a relatively soft and weak wood that is not very durable or resistant to decay. It is not considered a desirable lumber species for construction, furniture making, or other uses that require strong, durable wood. However, hemlock wood may be used for pulp or paper production, or as a source of fuel for wood burning. It is also sometimes used in landscaping and horticulture for mulch, compost, and erosion control.
The lifespan of hemlock trees can vary depending on the specific species, growing conditions, and other factors. Some hemlock species can live for hundreds of years in optimal conditions, while others may have shorter lifespans. Hemlock trees are generally slow-growing and long-lived, but they are prone to damage from insects, diseases, and other factors that can shorten their lifespan. Hemlock trees are also susceptible to windthrow, which can cause them to topple over in strong winds. Overall, the lifespan of hemlock trees can range from several decades to several centuries, depending on the specific circumstances.
Hemlock wood is not particularly rot resistant and is prone to decay when exposed to damp or humid conditions. Hemlock wood is classified as being non-durable to perishable, which means that it has a low resistance to decay and is not suitable for use in applications where it will be exposed to moisture or dampness.