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Pseudotsuga menziesii is often confused with:
Tsuga canadensis Form
Plants that fill a similar niche:
Picea abies Norway Spruce cones (Picea_abies)
Sequoiadendron giganteum Sequoiadendron giganteum
Abies fraseri Abies fraseri tree

Pseudotsuga menziesii

Previously known as:

  • Pinus taxifolia
  • Pseudotsuga taxifolia
Phonetic Spelling
sue-do-SUE-ga men-ZEE-see-eye
Description

Douglas fir is an evergreen tree in the Pinaceae (pine) family that is native to the western part of North America.   The name origin derives from Green with genus name pseudo meaning untrue or false, and tsuga means hemlock noding to the fact that it is often confused with hemlock trees. The species name menziesii is in honor of Archibald Menzies (1754-1842) a naval surgeon and botanist from Scottland. Growing to a towering height of 40 to 150 feet fall and up to 40 feet wide it is not suitable for most home landscapes.

Plant it in full sun to partial shade in acidic well-drained loamy soil.   Keep it well watered as it is not tolerant of drought conditions.  The needles are fragrant when bruised.  When it is young it has an open, spired pyramid shape.  As it ages it loses lower branches leaving the bottom third of the tree trunk open. It is easy to transplant when it is small.

This large tree provides winter interest with its attractive needles but is best left to natural woodland habitats.

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems: Weevils, bark beetles, spider mites, aphids, and galls are common.  Heart rot, root rot, and needlecast are occasional disease problems.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
'Fastigiata', var. glauca, var. menziesii
Tags:
#evergreen#conifer#winter interest#high maintenance#fragrant needles#evergreen tree#Christmas trees
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
'Fastigiata', var. glauca, var. menziesii
Tags:
#evergreen#conifer#winter interest#high maintenance#fragrant needles#evergreen tree#Christmas trees
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Pseudotsuga
    Species:
    menziesii
    Family:
    Pinaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    Used for lumber and as a Christmas tree.
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    South East Alaska to Mexico
    Dimensions:
    Height: 40 ft. 0 in. - 150 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 12 ft. 0 in. - 40 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Tree
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Needled Evergreen
    Habit/Form:
    Open
    Pyramidal
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    High
    Texture:
    Fine
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Soil Texture:
    Loam (Silt)
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Available Space To Plant:
    24-60 feet
    more than 60 feet
    NC Region:
    Mountains
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    4b, 4a, 5b, 5a, 6b, 6a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Gold/Yellow
    Gray/Silver
    Fruit Length:
    > 3 inches
    Fruit Description:
    No fruits, trees are monoecious. Seed cones hang down 3" to 4" light brown to red-brown with small appendages on each bract that resemble three pointed tongues that start out yellow-green and ripen to gray or light brown. Seeds are light brown and have a yellow brown wing.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    No flowers, trees are monoecious. Pollen cones are red-yellow pendulous 1/2 to 3/4 inch long.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Needled Evergreen
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Leaf Type:
    Needles
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    1 to 1.5 in. needles undersides have white lines
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Black
    Dark Brown
    Dark Gray
    Red/Burgundy
    Surface/Attachment:
    Fissured
    Scaly
    Bark Description:
    Gray, black, to red brown scaly, flaking with fissures that run longitudinally.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Red/Burgundy
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Description:
    Leaf buds are ovoid, and not resinous. Stems have circular leaf scars where needles fall off.
  • Landscape:
    Problems:
    Frequent Disease Problems
    Frequent Insect Problems