Canadian Hemlock

Tsuga canadensis

Canadian hemlock trees mature cinnamon-colored bark’s tannin has been used for tanning hides, it grows to about 30 meters, 80 feet, is pyramidal in shape has fragrant flat needle leaves.

Position: The Canadian Hemlock loves full sun but can tolerate a dappled shade position. It is a hardy species but if the temperature falls below -10°C then it is better protected in a cool greenhouse.

Watering: Hemlock’s prefer a moist but well-draining soil, water thoroughly in the early morning to allow for the bonsai to use the water during the daytime and to ensure that the growing medium has no standing water in it over the night.

Feeding: Fertilise every two weeks from spring to autumn, using a balanced organic liquid fertiliser. During the hottest of summer months discontinue feeding. Supplement with a liquid seaweed + iron tonic a few times a year.

Repotting: While it is not too fussy about the soil type, it needs to be free draining. Younger bonsai may be repotted every year, older bonsai repot when soil shows signs of depleting or bonsai growth has slowed. After repotting best to place out of direct sunlight, till soil surface dries out. Use a well-draining soil mix of loam, well-mulched bark, and sharp sand in equal parts. Alternatively, use 1 part Akadema and 1 part Pumice.

Pruning: A very slow-growing species prune only when bonsai crown is overly full and light does not pass through easily. Prune shoot between late-spring and early summer. New shoots are pruned back to leave 3 lateral shoots or active nodes. In autumn prune all terminal stems, leaving only two of the current year’s shoots, by cutting away the most vigorously growing shoot.

Wiring: Best to Wire between late autumn and winter. Remove wire when growth gets vigorous again in summer.

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