Native SpeciesEastern hemlock

Tsuga canadensis
Cape Elizabeth Maine
ID Confirmed
Quality checked by Kmoniz
Peer reviewed by Redapplepandas
Field Notes
It was a sunny October morning, but not very cold. We saw a large field with lots of kids, and heard a car alarm going off, which stopped after about five minutes. We smelled nothing out of the ordinary. To get to our tree we had to trek through tall, damp stalks of milkweed.The tree we found was some type of evergreen, with sharp green needles and it was about seven to eight feet tall. The branches stuck straight out. From that evidence, we could tell it was not an Eastern Hemlock, because an Eastern Hemlock's branches droop.
A sketch of our study site.
Supporting Evidence
Photo of my evidence.
The needles on the tree were very sharp and stiff, while the needles on an Eastern hemlock are dull, flat and flexible. The color pattern on the needles was also different from a hemlock. A hemlock has two distinct stripes that are just on the backside of the needle. This tree had white strips, but they were not as distinct and were on both sides. The needles were about two centimeters long.
Photo of my evidence.
Unlike an Eastern hemlock, this tree's needles connected to the twigs with little cups, while an Eastern hemlock's needles attach to the twig with tiny stems. We actually think the tree we found was related to the Eastern hemlock, because like the Eastern hemlock, it was cone bearing. But while the Eastern hemlock's cones are large, this tree's cones were about 1 centimeter long and 5 millimeters wide.
Photo of my evidence.
The bark on the tree we found was similar to an Eastern hemlock, because it was dry and cracked. However, it had many tan and green needles sticking out of the bark, unlike the Eastern hemlock.
Species Observation: Species Looked For
Did you find it?: 
I think I did not find it
Scientific name:
Tsuga canadensis
Common name:
Eastern hemlock
Sampling method: 
Quadrat (user-placement)
Photo of our sampling method.
Place Studied
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Map this species
N 43.593341 °
W -70.231925 °
Observation Site Information
A photo of our study site.
Upland - Developed areas
Trip Information
CEMS Campus
Trip date: 
Tue, 2013-10-29 08:36
Town or city: 
Cape Elizabeth Maine
Type of investigation: 
Species Survey


I second Sniffly's comments. Nice job!

However, I think you may have measured the tree's buds and not cones to get the 5mmx1cm dimensions. The tree pictured is a spruce, perhaps a blue spruce (Picea pungens). Cones would not be expected on a tree as young as that in the picture. All tree-form spruce commonly grown in Me. tend to have cones at least 1/2" (>1cm) long.

I nominated you for the best of pages! Not only is your sketch awesome, but so is your evidence both photo and written form. I like all the great observations and explanations that you included.

Nice work!!