This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V18", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
The Garden says: "Mr. Samuel B. Parsons writes to us from Flushing, Long Island, praising the beauty of the Weeping Hemlock (Abies canadensis var. pen-dula.) The ordinary form of the Hemlock is a very graceful tree, and this new one will prove a welcome addition to our pleasure grounds. We have never been able to understand the reason why the hemlock tree, which does so well in the cold regions of North America, thrives so poorly in our gardens. With us it is frequently surpassed in stature by the Western Arbor vitae, which is naturally a much smaller tree, inhabiting the same regions as the hemlock."
The reason the hemlock does so poorly in England is probably the presence of limestone. The best soil for the hemlock is that overlying granite. Even in America it does poorly in limestone soils.