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How to Plant Hemlock Trees

By Hollan Johnson ; Updated September 21, 2017

Hemlock trees are large evergreens. They can grow up to 80 feet tall with a 35-foot spread, so keep this in mind if you want to plant hemlock trees in your yard. Some hemlock trees are hardy from USDA zones 3 to 8 so they will grow in many climates around the US. Planting hemlock trees is not difficult as long as you have the room for this large and lovely tree in your yard.

Choose a variety of hemlock tree to plant in your yard. Western hemlock only grows well in temperate rain forests like those of Western Washington, while eastern hemlock grows best in cooler climates.

Choose a place in your yard for your hemlock tree. Hemlocks like full sun although they can also handle partial to heavy shade.

Prepare your soil for the hemlock trees. Hemlock trees like moist, well drained soil that is either loamy or sandy. If your soil is too clay-laden, add sand and compost or manure to loosen it up and improve drainage. Work the sand and compost or manure into a depth of about 4 to 6 feet, with a 5- to 6-foot diameter.

Plant hemlock trees in the spring to give them time to get established.

Dig a hole for the hemlock tree. Make sure the hole is about 4 feet wide and 3-4 feet deep, enough to fit the hemlock tree's root ball.

Place the hemlock tree in the hole. Fill the hole with soil and pat it down firmly. Water the hemlock tree right away for about 5-10 minutes.


Things You Will Need

  • Shovel


  • Keep in mind how large hemlock trees can grow when choosing a place to plant them.
  • Mulch may be applied around the base of the hemlock tree to lock moisture into the soil.


  • Hemlock trees need lots of water in which to thrive. Keep the soil moist but not soaking wet around the base of the trees.

About the Author


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