Replacements for Hemlocks
In the last post, we went over the reason why hemlocks are hard to find, and in this post, we will go over some possible replacements for hemlock. And although I am doing this, don’t let this dissuade you. If you really want to grow a hemlock, then you should. You just need to be prepared to do the extra work of spraying if it comes to it. But if you do not want to hassle with it, there are plenty of other evergreens that you can grow instead.
Consider the evergreens in the following list:
Chamaecyparis or False Cypress is a large group of evergreens containing many varieties that we love and rely on in our own landscapes. In addition to the varieties listed, there are many other varieties.
Soft Serve ®
Soft Serve is a worthy choice from Proven Winners to replace hemlock. The nice thing about it is that it is smaller in size than your typical hemlock, so you can use it places where you would not be able to fit a hemlock. Want further interest? Also, consider Soft Serve Gold®. H. 7-10′, Sp. 5-6′, Zones 4-8
Golden King is another good choice as far as Chamaecyparis goes. Easy to grow. As the name suggests, it is gold in color. Plant in full sun for best color. H. up to 40′, Sp. 15-18′, Zones 5
Oregon Blue is a nice variety of Chamaecyparis. One of the most beautiful Chamaecyparis, it has a unique blue color. H. 30′, Sp. 8-15′, Zone 5
Very nice plant. Soft green color. Looks very much like Soft Serve®, but slightly taller. H. 20′, Sp. 8-12′, Zone 5
This green Chamaecyparis is an excellent substitute for both Hemlock and Leyland Cypress. Grows in sun to part shade. H. 15-25′, Sp.10-15′, Zone 5
Alaskan Cedar is a very beautiful tree that makes a great specimen plant. There are many different varieties to choose from, including weeping and narrow varieties.
As far as the replacements for Hemlocks, Spruces are one of the best. Just on their own, spruces are a great tree.
One of the easiest trees to grow. If you are not sure what evergreen to plant, Norway Spruce is the one that many go with. There are also many sub-varieties that you can choose. H. 40-50+’, Sp. 15-20+’, Zones 2-7
One of the best spruce. Green with a silver tint. Grows in full sun to partial shade. H. 40+’, Sp. 15-20+’, Zones 4-7
Although they often do not get as wide, Arborvitaes can be a good replacement for Hemlocks. The good thing about these arbs is that they tend to grow fast which makes them good for hedges and to fill areas.
This Arb. is an excellent variety. It can grow up to 3 feet a year, rivaling Leyland Cypress. Very beautiful. Deer Resistant. H. 40-50′, Sp. 15-25′, Zones 5-8
Very similar to ‘Green Giant’ only slightly smaller and denser in growth. Deer Resistant. H. 30-40′, Sp. 15-20′, Zones 5-8
If you want Green Giant, but don’t have the room Steeplechase is the arb for you! Though growth rate is much the same as ‘Green Giant’ but the terminal height is half the size of Green Giant. Deer Resistant. H. 20-25′, Sp. 8-12′, Zones 5-8
Eastern Red Cedar
Eastern Red Cedar is actually a type of Juniper. There are also other varieties of Juniper that you might consider as a replacement, like ‘Moonglow’, ‘Wichita Blue’, and others but we will focus on Eastern Juniper.
Eastern Red Cedar
Although the foliage is different in texture, Red Cedar is very similar in color to Hemlock. Very tough. Plant in full sun. H. 30′, Sp. 15′, Zones 3-8