The Western Hemlock is one of the most plentiful trees growing on BC’s coast and Prince George to the South Kootenays. It is a softwood, meaning they are wood from a conifer the same as spruce or pine, and are easier to cut and grow quickly. Being a softwood species makes them useful for general construction, furniture and carpentry, and plywood manufacturing. The strength of Hemlock makes them architecturally safe for the use in horizontal beams for long spans. The grain is straight, lustrous, and fairly even in texture, making Hemlock wood ideal for carving and wood products like moulding and interior woodworking. The bark is also historically used as a source of tanning for tanning leather. Hemlock trees are shade tolerant and grow wild in stands with spruce, Douglas-fir and red cedar.

Western Hemlock Trees for Landscaping

The Western Hemlock is cultivated as an ornamental tree in wetter regions in BC as a shade and habitat tree. If you have erosion problems along the bank of a stream or river, planting Hemlocks will hold the soil in place to prevent damage against currents and floods. These trees grow tall, usually up to fifty metres high, so it’s important to plan out a shade map when designing landscapes with Hemlocks in mind for planting. If you are a birdwatcher, you’ll love the migratory and local birds these trees attract in all seasons. Hemlocks are a favoured habitat for nesters like sapsuckers and woodpeckers. They grow an abundance of seeds, rich in nutrients that feed birds like Steller’s Jays and barred owls, squirrels (including flying squirrels!), and snowshoe hare.
In our next article, we will talk about another Hemlock species – The Canadian Hemlock

Contact Us For Professional Landscaping Services

To serve our clients professionally, Twin Rivers is fully certified with full WCB coverage, liability and a BC Safe Certificate. Our team consists of certified fallers, utility arborists and bucket truck operators. We offer a variety of services such as planting trees and shrubs, lower crown raising, upper crown reduction and general landscaping services.
Our passion is taking care of the urban forests in Southwest BC. We serve homeowners, landlords, strata groups, and municipalities. If you are a general contractor, we invite you to call us for site design and urban landscaping. Contact Twin Rivers Tree Service and Landscaping in Kamloops (250) 851-1121, Sechelt/Gibsons (604) 989-0588 or Abbotsford (604) 989-0588.
Do you want to learn about maple trees? Visit HERE