Eastern Hemlocks (Tsuga canadensis) are a foundational species. They are the third most common tree in New York State.
Hemlocks support an entire food web: deer and porcupine in the winter, as well as 400 forest species year-round (birds, mammals, arthropods).
Hemlock stands provide unique ecosystem services: they help keep freshwater streams cold and clean, and provide direct shade via their dense canopies.
Hemlocks create the forest ecosystem they live in.
Read the Hemlock Wooly Adelgid post to learn why hemlock is such a special tree — and how the species is under threat here in the Catskills (and elsewhere).
Where to Find Hemlock
The hiking trails listed below are great places to enjoy excellent stands of hemlock in the Catskills.