Hemlock or tsuga wood, whose scientific name is Tsuga heterophylla, It is a wood originating in the North American West, although we can also find it in the British Isles, and which has several resemblance to pine and fir. Consequently, it is encompassed in what is known as “false first”.

It’s a wood easy to work, with good tolerance to mechanization (sawing, brushing, screwing and finishing) and soft, with resistance and density lower than that of pine.

Features of hemlock or tsuga wood

Color: The sapwood is a little lighter than the heartwood, the latter being light brown.

Characteristic defects: Small jump nodes.

Fiber: Straight, sometimes interlaced.

Grain: Medium to thick.

Density: Light wood, with a density of approximately 480 kg / m3 at 12% humidity.

Toughness: This is a soft wood with 1.4 in the Monnin test.

Durability: It is not very durable. Susceptible to attack by fungi and insects. It is advisable to use products that protect hemlock wood even in interior work.

Dimensional stability:

  • Volumetric contraction coefficient: 0.41% slightly edgy wood.

Mechanical properties:

  • Compressive strength: 450 kg / cmtwo
  • Static flexural strength: 780 kg / cmtwo
  • Modulus of elasticity: 108,000 kg / cmtwo

Impregnation: Heartwood slightly impregnable, sapwood moderately impregnable.


  • Sawn. Smoothly.
  • Drying. Slow and easy, although deformations can appear.
  • Brushed. Smoothly.
  • Glued. Smoothly.
  • Nailed and screwed. Smoothly.
  • Finish. Smoothly.

Uses of Hemlock or Tsuga wood

Hemlock is especially used for interior carpentry: doors, windows, frames …

Other uses would be:

  • Carpentry assembly.
  • Packing: cartons, pallets …
  • Small sizes: spoons, plates, etc.
  • It is also widely used for paper making.

Its use is not recommended for quality furniture because it is a fragile wood, which shatters a lot and deforms a lot when it dries badly.