Western Hemlock thrives in the humid areas of the Pacific coast and northern Rocky Mountains.  Trees grow to an average height of 40-60 feet. Western Hemlock is actually a softwood, however, it’s properties are similar to those of soft maple.  It is a pioneer on many sites, yet it is commonly the climax dominant. Western hemlock is prolific, versatile and abundant making it the "Cinderella of the Northwest."


Western Hemlock’s physical properties and visual appeal are similar to soft maple and alder.  It is flat, straight and accepts stains well.  It machines easily and sands to a smooth finish.

View Properties Comparison Chart » Commercial Uses

As a softwood, Western Hemlock is used to make paper.  When dried and surfaced like a hardwood, it’s used to make furniture, cabinets and millwork.

Other Uses

Western Hemlock boughs are used to collect herring eggs during the spring spawn in southeast Alaska. The boughs provide an easily collectible surface for the eggs to attach to as well as providing a distinctive taste. This practice originates from traditional gathering methods used by Native Alaskans from southeast Alaska, specifically the Tlingit people.