This blog reports events and interesting tidbits from Rensselaer, Indiana and the surrounding area.

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Christmas tree week: eastern hemlock

The eastern hemlock is native to our area, but not a common tree in Rensselaer. The best examples that I have found are in Weston Cemetery near the Makeever grave.
The eastern hemlock has very small cones that are quite similar to those of the tamarck. It has limited commercial use for lumber, but its bark was once used as a source of tannin.
A Yale University site says, "It is a poor Christmas tree because the leaves fall upon dying."

I prepared this post before Christmas. Rensselaer had a severe windstorm after Christmas that knocked the top off one of the two eastern hemlocks in Weston Cemetery. Here is all that is left of it.
I have found several hemlock on the south side of Milroy Avenue. Do you know where any others are in Rensselaer?

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