80103Even those of us who live nowhere near its natural range live closer to Douglas fir, Pseudotsuga menziesii, than we realize. Most of our homes are constructed from Douglas fir lumber. Although very uncommon in landscaped gardens, Douglas fir is the most popular Christmas tree here. Trees introduced for timber have naturalized in parts of Europe, Argentina, Chile and New Zealand.

It is such a grand evergreen conifer that Oregon designated it as the state tree. The tallest trees in the wild are more than three hundred feet tall! Trees that do not compete within a forest do not get even a quarter as tall. The flattened needles are less than an inch and a half long, and arranged on opposite sides of the stems. Light brown female cones with jagged bracts hang downward.

Douglas fir is a native of the West Coast between about the middle of British Columbia to the North, and the Santa Lucia Mountains and the Northern Sierra Nevada to the South, with a few small colonies beyond. Rocky Mountain Douglas fir is another variety from farther inland. Because it is so big and structurally deficient, Douglas fir is almost never planted into landscapes intentionally.

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11 thoughts on “Douglas Fir

  1. Have a “REAL TREE” Christmas!

    Nova Scotians are Growers of Balsam Fir Trees.

    The Lunenburg Balsam Fir Co-Op is located in Lunenburg County, Nova Scotia, Canada, where we live. “The Balsam Fir Christmas Tree Capital of the World”

    From Nova Scotia, Canada Christmas trees are shipped all over the world.

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    1. Hey, Douglas fir IS a REAL TREE. (It just happens to not be a real fir.) If you look to the West, you can see them from there! Balsam firs only smell better.
      I would like to grow balsam firs in the garden, between the garden and the forest. For a while, I had each of the North American firs. I wanted to see how they did here. The Douglas fir was the only one that did not need to be planted because it grows wild.

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      1. Sorry, I know Douglas Fir is REAL. So many are using artificial during the Christmas season that I like to remind people that a real tree is beautiful in so many ways if one is acceptable in their dwelling. After Christmas, we put ours outside for additional cover and feeding area for the winter birds.

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      2. Arizona cypress is a Christmas tree in the Southwest. I think that is weird, but they are excellent trees! They are definitely very different from firs, and they really smell unique, but it is such a cool tradition.

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      1. They were all over the farm where I grew up in western Washington state. My impression was they have shallow roots and tend to fall over making them not a good tree to grow close to your house.

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