How to Prune Canadian Hemlock


Canadian hemlock, or Tsuga canadensis, is native to North America and grows well throughout the upper Eastern states and into Canada. They are hardy in the USDA zones three to seven and they grow to heights from 50 to 70 feet tall with a spread of 30 feet. Naturally they form dense forests that allow little light to reach the forest's floor. As yard trees they need to be pruned to allow traffic underneath.

Step 1

Cut off any dead, damaged or diseased foliage from the Canadian hemlock with the pruning saw or shears. Remove the foliage back to the branch collar.

Step 2

Remove the drooping lower branches from the bottom of the Canadian hemlock up to about 6 to 7 feet in height, tall enough to walk under. Cut off the branches with the pruning saw before the branch collar.

Step 3

Cut back any overreaching branches, or branches that are 10 or more inches past the other branches. Cut them back to the rest of the other branches with the pruning saw.

Things You'll Need

  • Pruning saw
  • Pruning shears


  • Michigan State University Extension: Tsuga Canadensis, Canadian Hemlock
  • USDA Forest Service: Canadian Hemlock
  • Colorado State University Extension: Pruning Evergreens
Keywords: prune Canadian hemlock, pruning Canadian hemlock, Canadian hemlock care

About this Author

Hollan Johnson is a freelance writer for many online publications including Garden Guides and eHow. She is also a contributing editor for Brighthub. She has been writing freelance since 2008 and her interests are travel, gardening, sewing, and Mac computers. Prior to freelance writing, Johnson taught English in Japan. Johnson has a Bachelor of Arts in linguistics from the University of Las Vegas, Nevada.