The Q&A Archives: Canadian Hemlock Minimum Size

Question: I'd like to plant the Canadian hemlock as a screen in an area that is approximately 12-15' wide by 150'. I'm not sure if the tree will grow too big for the space. Is is possible to keep the Canadian Hemlock to a size of about 7-8' in height and 10' spreading habit? I love this tree and need an evergreen that is more natural than the techny arborvitae.

Thanks for your time


S. Ellis

Answer: The normal height for a Canadian hemlock is 40-70' so trying to keep it 7-8' in height will be very difficult! These trees do take well to shearing and are often used as a dense screening hedges, but it takes regular pruning to keep them as small as you want them to remain. When they're sheared, they're usually kept at about 20'. I think you'd have better success with Tsuga canadensis 'Pendula' (Sargent weeping hemlock) in the site you describe. This hemlock grows to 5' tall and about 15' wide.

Best wishes with your landscape!

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