Scientific Name:

Tsuga canadensis

Other Names and Species:

Eastern hemlock
Canada hemlock
Hemlock spruce


Canada and United States


The heartwood and sapwood of hemlock are both light brown with red tinges. The species has an uneven, commonly twisted grain and is medium to coarse in texture.


Treatment of the wood of some sort is advised as hemlock has little natural resistance to decay. The wood is reported to have a somewhat sour odor when green. Hemlock is diffuclt to dry properly, as warping is known to occur.

Janka Hardness: 500

Although it is reported to be one of the hardest softwoods, as a flooring option hemlock is one of the least hard and durable woods. It is roughly three quarters as hard as douglas fir, forty percent as hard as red oak, and about thirty-five percent as hard as hard maple.


Hemlock is somewhat difficult to saw properly. Nailing can be difficult as splitting occassionally occurs in the process. Glue holds well with hemlock flooring. This species sands fairly well but does marr somewhat easily under heavy traffic.

Principal Uses:

Hemlock’s uses include flooring, flooring accents, framing, pulpwood, and roofing shingles.