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The Columbia Trail: Part of the South Branch Reservation
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Eastern Hemlock (Tsuga canadensis).  The eastern hemlock is a large, long-lived tree, important for construction timber and as a source of tannic acid for tanning leather.  The eastern hemlock has thin, flat branchlets which are soft (not spiny) with needles only on the sides.  In the last two decades, substantial declines in eastern hemlock have been observed throughout its range, resulting in extensive federal and state concern.  Widespread hemlock defoliation and mortality has largely been attributed to the hemlock woolly adelgid (aphid-like Adelges tsugae), an exotic insect that is native to Japan (Snyder and Young). 

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Photographs by Valerie Lykes