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Douglas Fir
Pseudotsuga menziesii
About Douglas Fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) Nurseries Show All Photos Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) is an evergreen conifer native to the coastal regions of western North America, from west-central British Columbia, Canada southward to central California. In Oregon and Washington its range is continuous from the Cascades crest west to the Pacific Ocean. In California, it is found in the Klamath and Coast Ranges as far south as the Santa Cruz Mountains, and in the Sierra Nevada as far south as the Yosemite region. It occurs from near sea level along the coast to 1,800 meters (5,900 feet) in the Sierra Nevada. Further inland it is replaced by the related Rocky Mountain Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii var. glauca). The specific name, menziesii, is after Archibald Menzies, a Scottish physician and rival naturalist to David Douglas, who first documented the tree on Vancouver Island in 1791. Coast Douglas-fir is the second-tallest conifer in the world (after Coast Redwood). Trees 60-75 meters (200-250 feet) or more in height and 1.5-2 meters (4.9-6.6 feet) in diameter are common in old growth stands, and maximum heights of 100-120 meters (330-390 feet) and diameters up to 4.5-6 meters (15-20 feet) have been documented. The tallest living specimen is the "Doerner Fir", (previously known as the Brummit fir), 99.4 meter tall, at East Fork Brummit Creek in Coos County, Oregon, the stoutest is the "Queets Fir", 4.85 meter diameter, in the Queets River valley, Olympic National Park, Washington. It commonly lives more than 500 years and occasionally more than 1,000 years. Douglas Fir is commercially important for lumber. Due to its size it is not frequently used in residential gardens.
Plant Description
Plant Type

Max. Height
40 - 246.1 ft (12.2 - 75 m)

Pyramidal, Upright

Growth Rate


Flowering Season

Native Status

Natural Setting
Site Type
Forests of the Pacific Northwest

Part Shade, Sun

Elevation ?
9' - 14090'

Annual Precip. ?
5.2" - 154.5"

Summer Precip. ?
0.20" - 6.04"

Coldest Month ?
10.8° F - 54.1° F

Hottest Month ?
34.1° F - 80.8° F

Humidity ?
0.01 vpd - 25.82 vpd

Soil Description
Prefers rich, forest soil with well-decomposed organic component derived from decaying wood. For garden purposes add redwood compost to soil mix.

Soil PH
4.0 - 6.0


Cold Tolerance(° F)
Tolerates cold to 5° F

Companion Plants
This tree can get very large so provide it with plenty of room. Use with compatible forest plants such as Rocky Mountain Maple (Acer glabrum), Manzanita (Arctostaphylos canescens or nevadensis), Oregon Grape (Berberis sp.), and Ocean Spray (Holodiscus discolor)

Landscaping Information
Ease of Care
Very Easy

Water Requirement ?
Extremely Low
Very Low
Moderate - High

Seldom Used

Deep Organic

Prune in winter when wood boring insects are less active.

Propagation ?
For propagating by seed: 3-6 wks. stratification. No treatment may give satisfactory germination (USDA Forest Service 1974). Extended stratification lowers optimal germinatino termparture and germination may occur in refrigerator.

Common uses
Bank Stabilization, Deer Resistant, Butterfly Gardens

Nursery Availability
Commonly Available

Other Names
Botanical Names
Pseudotsuga menziesii var. menziesii

Common Names
Brummit Fir, Douglas-fir

Sources include: Wikipedia. All text shown in the "About" section of these pages is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Plant observation data provided by the participants of the California Consortia of Herbaria, Sunset information provided by Jepson Flora Project. Propogation from seed information provided by the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden from "Seed Propagation of Native California Plants" by Dara E. Emery. Sources of plant photos include CalPhotos, Wikimedia Commons, and independent plant photographers who have agreed to share their images with Calscape. Other general sources of information include Calflora, CNPS Manual of Vegetation Online, Jepson Flora Project, Las Pilitas, Theodore Payne, Tree of Life, The Xerces Society, and information provided by CNPS volunteer editors, with special thanks to Don Rideout. Climate data used in creation of plant range maps is from PRISM Climate Group, Oregon State University, using 30 year (1981-2010) annual "normals" at an 800 meter spatial resolution.

Links:   Jepson eFlora Taxon Page  CalPhotos  Wikipedia  Calflora

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