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Woody > Tsuga > Tsuga canadensis > Tsuga canadensis 'Jervis'

Tsuga canadensis


Jervis Hemlock

Origin:  Botanical Origin of the 'Jervis' Cultivar was a genetic freak of the much larger and wide ranging cultivars of the Tsuga Canadensis (Hemlock) discovered first in Port Jervis New York (Grown in Canada and North/Eastern US) straight species found on slopes and mountainsides.
            Mike's Opinion

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The Tsuga canadensis 'Jervis' or Dwarf Eastern Hemlock, is a fairly low maintenance shrub. It is a small pyramidal structured plant ideal for rock gardens, semi-sheltered locations as a border plant or in container planting. The Tsuga should not be planted in urban(inner city) or road side environments due to its low tolerant to salt. The tree is often tolerant towards deer and rabbits but is susceptible to other pests such as insects and different tree diseases. The compact tree size and easy to shape form, makes it a popular shrub to grow depending on location and garden type. It can be developed into a Bonsai styled shrub or small tree reinforcing its popularity as a marketed plant. The growth rate of the shrub can be considered slow. The Tsuga canadensis 'Jervis' cultivar is a Hemlock tree that charms the garden with its miniature height and lush A-symmetrical evergreen branches.

Michael Pascoe, NDP., ODH., CLT., MSc. (Plant Conservation)


Shrub (evergreen)
USDA Hardiness Zone
4a - 8a
Canadian Hardiness Zone
RHS Hardiness Zone
Temperature (°C)
-20 to (-10)
Temperature (°F)
-4 - 15
1 - 2.5 m
1 - 1.5 m
Description and Growing Information
Flowering Period
General Description
A dwarf sized evergreen is used for many aspects of rock, container and specimen planting. The Tsuga canadensis is originally a North/Eastern American plant growing in A-symmetry. The Tsuga canadensis Jervis or the Eastern (miniature) Hemlock has a very compact structure ideal for sheltered and rocky locations. It is a fairly popular plant and a plant of reasonable cost that provides values in nurseries.
The Tsuga canadensis 'Jervis' is a shrub of cultivated origin, used for container gardens, Bonsai plantings, commercial sales, distribution and as a specimen plant.
Intolerant to drought and semi-sensitive to salt exposure, the shrub can be planted in semi-acidic soils with preference to rich, moist, well drained soils and sheltered locations with little to no wind or excessive drought. The Tsuga canadensis 'Jervis' can grow in sun to partial shade and is mostly shade tolerant. The growth of the plant is often asymmetrical but responds well to pruning as it is often used in Bonsai gardens and plantings. Early stages of plant development should be supported by emphasis on root care and ensuring the plant gets enough Phosphor. Additional care includes: fertilizing the plant yearly and only reshaping the shrub at an appropriate stage of development to ensure the health of any future growth.
The shape of the dwarfed Hemlock is of a compact and dense nature with needle like foliage often 3-8 feet in height, which upholds an upright pyramidal form. The Tsuga canadensis 'Jervis' is known for its short, oval shaped(medium-long cones) and requires some maintenance for pruning and proper structural form.
ID Characteristic
The PH zone of the plants growth is in areas 4 to 6.5, short and compact with glossy or glaucous leaves. Identifying features include: bands of white underneath the needles, often a broad and upright growth the shrub responds well to pruning, is intolerant to drought and appears to be twiggy with dense needle foliage.
Insect pests include: mites (spider Mites), gypsy moths, bagworms, Hemlock Sawfly, spruce leaf miners, wooly Adelgid (aphids notably the most threatening) bud worms and Hemlock loopers. The Tsuga is susceptible to leaf blight (causing yellowing), cankers, rusts (blister/needle) different forms of scales and rusts (on the branch areas of the shrub).
Botanical Origin of the 'Jervis' Cultivar was a genetic freak of the much larger and wide ranging cultivars of the Tsuga canadensis (Hemlock) found first in Port Jervis New York. The straight species has been found in the environment of the Appalachian mountains in the states.
Bark/Stem Description
Description light brown to reddish-grey bark, can be scaly in appearance with branches covered densely with a twiggy appearance.
Flower/Leaf Bud Description
Oval appearing (small buds) light brown.
Leaf Description
The Tsuga canadensis 'Jervis' has needles for leaves and therefore is more primitive then the typical Evergreen Broadleaf shrubs. The size of the tree causes the needles to be close together and create a compact and small appearance for the plant, while the plants needles grow up to 1"-2".
Colour Description
A darker green in the winter, with several compact branches that creates an intense grouping of shiny green needles that complements a grey and rocky environment (or adds interest to the garden). In Spring and Summer the appearance of the needles at a healthy stage of growth become a light, bright green colour with light brown to reddish-grey branches covered in needles.
Texture Description
Fine/dense needles compacted to create form and symmetry. The texture may change and toughen during the winter.
Most Hemlocks require stratification (2-4 months of stratification) when they are seedlings, needing attention when the shrub's roots are being developed (often starting out as growth in well drainable sand and taking 60-120 days of maturity) before considerable growth development. The more the Tsuga canadensis 'Jervis' is transplanted the more pruning the plant requires at mature growth. Ensure proper watering from late November to early March.
Ethnobotanical Uses (Disclaimer)
The Ethnobotanical use of the Tsuga canadensis 'Jervis' or the canadian Eastern (Miniature) Hemlock appeals to aesthetics. The shrub can be used in Landscape environments for planter gardens, rock gardens and foundation borders. It can be shaped into Bonsai plants.
-Manual of Woody Landscape Plants, Their Identification. Ornamental Characteristics, Culture, and Uses Michael .A Dirr,Revission 2009. -Tree and Shrub Gardening of Ontario Alison Beck/ Kathy Renwald-1971-2001 Lone Pine publishing. - Arts Nursery website/2012, Arts web/ Tsuga N/A, N/A