Pseudotsuga menziesii

Douglas Fir

Su-do-Su-ga men-ZE-zee-i
Pronunciation Audio

Rocky Mountains and Pacific coast (British Columbia to Mexico)

Growth Habit

Pyramidal, upper branches grow upright, lower branches weep, open habit at maturity.


Prefers neutral or slightly acid, well drained soils

Facultative Status
Facultative upland
Landscape Use

Pseudotsuga menziesii is one of the most noble of forest trees. It is native to the Rocky Mountains and Pacific Coast of the United States. There are two varieties known in the wild, one that grows mostly in the Pacific Northwest (var. menziesii) and another that grows mostly in the Rocky Mountains (var. glauca). The type that grows in the Pacific Northwest is known to grow over 200 feet tall and often has bluish green foliage. The type that grows in the Rocky Mountains is slower growing, shorter lived and seldom grows taller than 130 feet tall. Its foliage is generally yellow-green and it is often hardier than the Coast Douglasfir. This type is more commonly used in the Midwest and Northeast as an ornamental. Foliage color varies a great deal on seed source. Bark of both types is reddish brown and divided into thick ridges separated by deep irregular fissures. Bark eventually becomes 6 to 24 inches thick. Leaves are arranged in a comb-live V-shaped pattern and smell of camphor when bruised. Flowers are monoecious, forming on 2 year old wood, ; males axillary and pendulous; females terminal, with exerted, 3-pointed bracts, handsome rose-red when young. Cones are pendulous, oval-ovoid , 3 to 4 inch long and light brown. Douglasfir prefers open, roomy sites with plenty of atmospheric moisture. They should be protected from high winds and never used as a windbreak. Douglasfir is heavily used for timber and also as a Christmas tree.


some types dark green, and some blue green


yellowish green when young, gray to brown at maturity


rose red when young


light brown


Seeds and cuttings.

Canker, leaf cast, blights, various insect pests.

'Fastigiata' -Dense, upright habit.

'Fletcheri' - Bluish needles, dwarf.

Var. glauca - Blue-green needles.

'Pendula' - Weeping.