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TREES & Plants

Douglas-fir

 Douglas-fir is not a true fir, but is still a beautiful evergreen for the landscape.  Its conical shape is similar to that seen on spruces.

Botanical name: 
Pseudotsuga menziesii
All Common Names: 
Douglas-fir, Douglasfir, Douglas Fir
Family (English): 
Pine
Family (Botanic): 
Pinaceae
Tree or Plant Type: 
  • Tree
Foliage: 
  • Evergreen (foliage year-round)
Native Locale: 
  • North America
Hardiness Zones: 
  • Zone 4
  • Zone 5
  • Zone 6
Growth Rate: 
  • Medium
Light Exposure: 
  • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)
  • Partial sun (4-6 hrs direct light daily)
Tolerances: 
  • Dry sites
Soil Preference: 
  • Acid soil
  • Moist, well-drained soil
Flower Color & Fragrance: 
  • Inconspicuous
Size Range: 
  • Large tree (more than 40 feet)
Shape or Form: 
  • Pyramidal
Landscape Uses: 
  • Specimen
  • Massing
  • Screen
More Information: 

Tree & Plant Care

Avoid planting in windy sites. 

Disease, pests, and problems

Stressed trees may exhibit 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

C-Value: 

 

Attracts birds, pollinators, or wildlife

 

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

Needles

  • Arrangement:
  • Size: 1-1 ½”
  • Shape: flat
  • Texture: soft
  • Color: green with two distinct white bands on the underside

Needles smell of camphor when crushed

Flower arrangement, shape, and size

Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii)Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii)photo: John Hagstrom

Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions

  • Type: cone
  • Shape: oblong with a distinctive projecting bract from each scale
  • Size: 2-4”
  • Color: medium brown

Cones mature in one year

Cultivars and their differences 

Pseudotsuga menziesii var. glauca (Douglas-fir): bluish-green needles, more compact

Pseudotsuga menziesii ‘Pendula’ (Weeping Douglas-fir): branches are held close to the stem

Pseudotsuga menziesii ‘Fastigiata’ (Fastigiata Douglas-fir): spire-like, tight branching

Pseudotsuga menziesii ‘Fletcheri’ (Fletcheri Douglas-fir): dwarf form, reaches 6 feet