Polk County’s “Most Wanted Plants” – Carolina hemlock

Published 9:06am Monday, December 3, 2012

However, Eastern Hemlock leaves spread out from the twig on two/opposite sides, horizontally. Carolina Hemlocks also have longer leaves; they are usually 10-18 mm long compared to that of the Eastern Hemlock that has leaves from 8-13 mm in length. The cones of the Carolina Hemlock are also larger than the cones of Eastern Hemlock (20-28 mm vs. 12-25 mm). Also, ecologically, the two have different requirements. Carolina Hemlock is most abundant in dry, rocky forests and bluffs, while Eastern Hemlock is found in moist ravines, coves and streamsides.
This tree is ranked as vulnerable in North Carolina. To our knowledge, there are currently no records of Carolina Hemlock in Polk County, but it has been identified in numerous neighboring counties.
If you think that you have this species growing on your property, or know where it might be located, please contact PAC at 828-859-5060, or email comments, questions, or photos to landprotection@pacolet.org. Due to the holidays, it might take a few weeks for someone to get back to you.
Please rest assured that if this plant is located on your property, PAC, David Campbell, nor anyone else is interested in “telling you what you can/cannot do on your property.” That is the choice of the landowner; however, should a landowner be interested in managing the site to encourage the persistence of the species and/or preserving the land containing the species, PAC would be happy to assist.
The purpose of this project is to gain a better understanding of the flora in Polk County and documenting the species present in the county, and making sure that the flora of Polk County is well represented in state records and herbaria. The only extensive study of the county was conducted in the 1950s and 1960s by Oliver Freeman.
– article submitted by Pam Torlina

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