If you’ve been heartbroken by the loss of a hemlock tree (Tsuga spp. and cvs., Zones 3–8) to woolly adelgid, you’re not alone. Researchers at the U.S. National Arboretum have been working for decades on developing hybrids that are woolly adelgid resistant, with success originating from a controlled cross made in 1992 between the susceptible native Carolina hemlock (T. caroliniana) and resistant Chinese hemlock (T. chinensis). The first cultivar being released to the horticulture trade is ‘Traveler’, which matures into a striking specimen tree and can also be used to create a large informal screen. There is also a second similar cultivar being released named ‘Crossroads.’ While neither is available to consumers yet, keep an eye out for them. They will be game changers for hemlock lovers in Zones 6 and 7.
Size: 30 feet tall and 18 feet wide
Conditions: Full sun to partial shade; moist, well-drained soil
Native range: Hybrid