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. It has a conical shape, similar to that seen on spruces.
All common names:
- Residential and parks
Tree or Plant Type:
- Evergreen (foliage year-round)
- North America
- Large tree (more than 40 feet)
- Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily),
- Partial sun/shade (4-6 hrs light daily)
- Zone 4,
- Zone 5 (Chicago),
- Zone 6
- Moist, well-drained soil
- Alkaline soil,
- Road salt
- Showy fruit
Seasons of Interest:
- early winter,
- late winter,
- early spring,
- mid spring,
- late spring,
- early summer,
- late summer,
- early fall,
- mid fall,
- late fall
Flower Color & Fragrance:
Shape or Form:
Size & Form
A broadly conical to narrow pyramidal evergreen tree with open, tiered branches that are slightly pendulous.
It grows 40 to 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.
Native geographic location and habitat
Native to western North America from the Rocky Mountains to the Pacific northwest.
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 evergreen needles, spirally arranged on branches or 2-ranked.
Blue-green to silvery gray-green, shiny, 2 white bands on underside of needles.
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
variety glauca (Pseudotsuga menziesii var. glauca) : slightly more more compact than species with upright branches and bluish-green needles.
Fastigiata (Pseudotsuga menziesii ‘Fastigiata’ ): spire-like, tight branching, distinctly ascending, green-gray needles.
Pendula (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.