Might try and grow some Eastern Hemlock

The Eastern Hemlock is a really beautiful evergreen that’s native to my area, but it’s been threatened for years and I haven’t seen any in my area since I was a child. I’ve been thinking about getting ahold of some seeds from someone and trying to grow- at least on my own property.
I’m aware that they’re trees, and it’s going to take a long time for them to actually be more than a shrub. I love them though and I think they’re worth trying to get back in Georgia.


They’re not too hard to grow from seed - I collected some last fall. They need to be cold stratified, and then surface-sown so the seeds get light but stay moist. After a couple weeks almost all of the seeds germinated.


Not sure if it’s possible with this plant, but maybe propogate it from cutting?

This means the plant is a clone of the parent, genetically. I’ve only tried this with Solanum though…


You might have the best luck with seed collected from as close to your property as you can find, because that genotype is more likely to be adapted to the local climate. For example, I live in Massachusetts and there are plenty of hemlocks here, but if I sent you seed, the seedlings might not cope well with Georgia temperatures.


^^^^ this
People on twitter from other countries occasionally ask me for seeds and I really don’t think it’d be worth the shipping in most of the situations.

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@lynnharper Gonna reply to them and ping you. I’d try both of them, but finding someone in my area with a rare tree and then not looking insane enough to ask for cuttings will be almost hilarious. Though I know how dangerous it is to try and bring them back with clones.

Lynns idea though I can work with, I have a number of states around me with a presence of eastern hemlock and have a climate similar to mine. Georgia is hot, we’re around 100 all next week- Florida is worse. These things are living in GA though just in pockets, I’m sure I can find someone else with a mind to see them back in the wild who I can give some money to send me some seeds to work with. If I can get ahold of some I could get pretty much as many of them possible going, and then give them out to anyone with some land that wants to devote some to getting them back in the ground.


That sounds fantastic, they’ll have to be protected for a little bit here though due to our heat and from things like squirrels. But if I got a good amount of them I could chill them myself and then just find a good area and hand them over to nature at the same time as growing them to be placed more strategically.

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I have a couple of little hemlocks in pots and they have all caught the woolly adelgid. I don’t like to resort to chemical warfare in the yard but I’ve had to buy some insecticidal soap to help my plants stay alive. They are not looking too great, but so far haven’t died yet either. Depending on adelgid pressure where you are, that’s something to think of and be prepared for battle with the invasive adelgid. You may be lucky and have some adelgid predators in the area (https://www.fs.usda.gov/treesearch/pubs/47311). Another species to consider, which supposedly is less susceptible (not sure if that’s true), is Carolina hemlock (Tsuga caroliniana).


Wow, that’s really good for a conifer, most have notoriously low germination rates.

The article gleans this but not in detail - be sure to leave cuttings in an area out of direct sunlight. The plants will not die from lack of sunlight but since they lack roots they are limited mostly to the water contained within them (and maybe a small amount getting into the cut area). The greater the surface of the plant is heated the more water will transpire from it. Normally if it were a leafy plant I’d recommend removing all but a few leaves to further minimize transpiration but for a conifer I don’t think that should be an issue.

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Yes, I was pleasantly surprised with the germination success - I’d say it was 90% at least. Unfortunately none of the seedlings survived long term due to some trouble with the conditions in the greenhouse I was working in, but it’s definitely something I’d like to try again under better circumstances. I just collected my seeds from my local woods, and cold stratified them in moist vermiculite for 3 or so months.

Where I am from the hemlocks have been almost entirely wiped out by the woolly adalgids. https://www.dec.ny.gov/animals/7250.html
If you are going to plant them, you probably know, you need to have a plan for how to keep them safe from these.

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