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Dwarf Golden Hemlock

Tsuga canadensis 'Aurea Compacta'

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Dwarf Golden Hemlock (Tsuga canadensis 'Aurea Compacta') at The Mustard Seed

Dwarf Golden Hemlock

Dwarf Golden Hemlock

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  5 feet

Spread:  4 feet

Sunlight:  full sun  partial shade  full shade 

Hardiness Zone:  4a

Other Names:  Canadian Hemlock, Eastern Hemlock


A compact garden shrub with bright golden foliage which fades to yellow over the summer, fine textured appearance, grows into a loose pyramid, excellent for a rock garden; needs organic, acidic soil, adequate moisture and shelter from drying winds

Ornamental Features

Dwarf Golden Hemlock has attractive yellow foliage which emerges gold in spring. The needles are highly ornamental and turn chartreuse in fall. Neither the flowers nor the fruit are ornamentally significant.

Landscape Attributes

Dwarf Golden Hemlock is an open multi-stemmed evergreen shrub with a distinctive and refined pyramidal form. It lends an extremely fine and delicate texture to the landscape composition which can make it a great accent feature on this basis alone.

This shrub will require occasional maintenance and upkeep, and is best pruned in late winter once the threat of extreme cold has passed. Gardeners should be aware of the following characteristic(s) that may warrant special consideration;

  • Insects

Dwarf Golden Hemlock is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Accent
  • Mass Planting
  • Hedges/Screening
  • General Garden Use

Planting & Growing

Dwarf Golden Hemlock will grow to be about 5 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 4 feet. It has a low canopy, and is suitable for planting under power lines. It grows at a slow rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for 40 years or more.

This shrub performs well in both full sun and full shade. It does best in average to evenly moist conditions, but will not tolerate standing water. It is not particular as to soil type, but has a definite preference for acidic soils. It is quite intolerant of urban pollution, therefore inner city or urban streetside plantings are best avoided, and will benefit from being planted in a relatively sheltered location. Consider applying a thick mulch around the root zone in winter to protect it in exposed locations or colder microclimates. This is a selection of a native North American species.

Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight Soil pH Preference
Accent  Massing  Screening  Garden 
Foliage Color  Texture  Plant Form  Winter Value 
Ornamental Features