Trees to 30m; trunk to 2m diam.; crown conic. Bark brown, scaly and fissured. Twigs light brown, thinly covered with short, dark hairs. Buds oblong, 2--3mm. Leaves 10--20mm, mostly spreading in all directions from twigs, flat but slightly revolute; abaxial surface glaucous, with 2 broad, conspicuous stomatal bands, adaxial surface shiny green; margins entire. Seed cones ovoid to oblong, 2.5--4 ´ 1.5--2.5cm; scales oblong, 12--18 ´ 8--12mm, bases clawed, apex rounded. 2 n =24.
"Similar to no. 1 [Tsuga canadensis (L.) Carrière]; lvs entire, averaging slightly larger, more diversely oriented, so that the sprays are not so flat; cones 25–35 mm, the scales widely spreading at maturity, oblong-ovate, the exposed portion of the middle ones at least as long as wide. Ravines and rocky hillsides in the Blue Ridge Prov., rarely on the Piedmont; sw. Va. to n. Ga."