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Eastern Hemlock vs Norway Spruce

Eastern hemlock and Norway spruce are easy to distinguish up-close, but are sometimes confused from a distance because both have dark green needles and drooping branches and foliage; both are widely used in landscaping, and are highly shade-tolerant.

Eastern Hemlock (Tsuga canadensis)

Norway Spruce (Picea abies)

A large, shade-tolerant evergreen conifer native to the Appalacians and northeastern U.S.
Native to Europe, and widely planted in northeastern North America, occasionally established in the wild. The spruce in North America with the widest growth habit.
Tiny cones.
Photo © Fluff Berger, CC BY-SA 4.0.
Huge cones.
Photo © Derek, CC BY 4.0.
Short, flat, round-tipped needles.
Photo © Nova Patch, CC BY-SA 4.0.
Long, pointed needles which are not flat, bur rather, diamond-shaped in cross-section.
Photo © Mark Apgar, CC BY 4.0.
Bark of mature trees has long, vertical cracks and plates.
Photo © Jacob Ke, CC BY 4.0.
Bark of mature trees is scaly, tending to crack into roughly-round scales.
Photo © Marie Studer, CC BY 4.0.
Silhouette looks feathery due to small needles.
Photo © Laura Costello, CC BY 4.0.
Individual branches look thicker in silhouette.
Photo © johnyochum, CC BY 4.0.