Landowner Fact Sheets

Douglas-fir Pseudotsuga menziesii play

Douglas-fir has long been an important forest component and timber resource in western North America. It grows in a wide range of environments, from the harsh Rocky Mountains, to the more mild coastal portions of the Pacific Northwest. Two varieties or Douglas-fir are recognized: coastal and inland. Today, Douglas-fir is planted for timber and ornamental purposes around the world.

range map Click to see more images. wood grain

Due to moderate shade tolerance, Douglas-fir can be regenerated by the shelterwood method. Shelterwoods are more commonly practiced with the inland variety. Clearcutting and planting is more commonly used for the coastal variety.

Douglas-fir is found on a very wide variety of soils, with best growth on deep, well drained soils that receive an abundance of moisture. It may also tolerate arid areas and grow with ponderosa pine.


A pyramidal crown that is somewhat open and self-prunes poorly. Stems are characteristically straight.

Timber Value
Douglas-fir is commonly used for construction materials, window frames, doors, paneling, and Christmas trees.

Wildlife Value
Seeds are consumed and plant material browsed by various species.
Attracts mice, voles, chipmunks, shrews, rabbits, beaver, gophers, deer, elk, various birds

Insects and Diseases

Fun Facts
Douglas-fir comprises much of the old growth forests of the western United States. Also, it provides a large percentage of the wood harvested in the United States. Douglas-fir is considered the second tallest tree in North America, after redwood. Old growth trees are often over 300 ft. tall. Douglas-fir is a common ornamental and Christmas tree in the East.

Latin Meaning
Pseudotsuga: false Tsuga / menziesii: after naturalist Archibald Menzies

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Landowner Factsheets © 2004 Virginia Tech Forestry Department, all rights reserved. Text, images, and programming by: Dr. Jeff Kirwan, Dr. John R. Seiler, John A. Peterson, Edward C. Jensen, Guy Phillips, or Andrew S. Meeks.