This hemlock is native to New England, the Mid-Atlantic States, and the Appalachian Mountains as far south as Georgia. Eastern hemlock is a slow-growing tree that can reach 75 feet in height and 3 feet in diameter. Currently, an introduced insect pest, the hemlock woolly adelgid, threatens to devastate hemlock throughout its range.
The location of this tree near Friar Hall provides the ideal moist, cool conditions for survival in our high-desert climate. In shady sites in its natural range, eastern hemlock continues to grow very slowly and can reach great ages. Very large hemlocks are found in forests today because they live a very long time, and often were not cut because of their low timber value. The largest eastern hemlock measured is located in Great Smoky Mountains National Park and is 165 feet tall with a circumference of 16 feet, 10 inches.
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