Douglas-fir is an excellent specimen plant or used in mass for screening. Although not a true fir, it is a beautiful evergreen for the larger landscape with a conical shape, similar to that seen on spruces.
- Evergreen (foliage year-round)
- North America
- Zone 4
- Zone 5
- Zone 6
- Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)
- Partial sun (4-6 hrs light daily)
- Dry sites
- Acid soil
- Moist, well-drained soil
- Large tree (more than 40 feet)
- Early winter
- Mid winter
- Late winter
Size & Form
A broadly conical to narrow pyramidal evergreen tree with open, tiered branches that are slightly pendulous.
It grows 40-80 feet high and 15 to 20 feet wide in landscape situations. In its native habitat it can reach 150 feet high.
Excellent specimen plant or used in mass to create screening.
Tree & Plant Care
Best in moist, neutral to acidic soil in full sun.
Does not like hot, dry sites, prefers a cooler climate
Disease, pests, and problems
Stressed trees susceptible to needle diseases and insect problems.
Disease, pest, and problem resistance
Wildlife is attracted to the tree for food and shelter.
Native geographic location and habitat
Native to western North America from the Rocky Mountains and Pacific coast.
Attracts birds, pollinators, or wildlife
Birds are attracted to cones
Bark color and texture
The mature bark is thick and fissured and has a reddish-brown coloration.
Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture
Leaves are spirally arranged on branches or 2-ranked.
Blue-green to silvery gray-green, shiny, 2 white bands on underside of needles.
Thin, 1 to 1/2 inches long, winter buds are pointed.
Needles smell of camphor when crushed
Flower arrangement, shape, and size
Monoecious, male flowers are pendulous along stem, female flowers are on tips of branches
Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions
Oblong, tan cones, 3 to 4 inches long with conspicuous 3-pointed bracts protruding between scales
Cones mature in one year
Cultivars and their differences
Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii var. glauca) : slightly more more compact than species with upright branches and bluish-green needles
Fastigiata Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii ‘Fastigiata’ ): spire-like, tight branching, distinctly ascending, green-gray needles
Weeping Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii ‘Pendula’ ): Unusual form with branches held close to the trunk with twisted, cascading stems. Lateral branches are spreading and drooping. Green needle color.