Meet: Eastern Hemlock
These evergreen trees are not often noticed as individuals but it's so important to know what they are because they are in danger. Eastern Hemlock on the western side of the state of Michigan is under attack from woolly adelgid. This is a nonnative insect that comes from eastern Asia. In Japan, the woolly adelgid is managed by natural predators and climate but in Michigan, it requires management to maintain the Hemlock trees.
Eastern Hemlocks appreciate cool sloping land with acidic soils. They are often found in bottom lands and along river banks in northern climates. These amazing trees can live to be over 500 years old in Northern forests. The oldest recorded tree was 554 years old in Pennsylvania. When they were plentiful, their bark was used in tanning leather and the wood was used as railroad ties and general lumber.
These trees can be identified among regular pines by their darker needles and drooping branches. They are often found in shady areas. They can grow over 100 feet tall with a circumference exceeding five feet. These majestic trees are under attack from woolly adelgid however and if you see one, reporting any infestation to a local DNR, nature center or by using this website may allow experts to help develop a treatment plan.