The Douglas Fir tree is one of the tallest conifers in the world. It grows upwards of 200 feet with a five to six foot diameter. These trees have a life span of approximately 500 years, occasionally living up to 1,000 years.
There are two varieties of Douglas Fir; the Coast Douglas Fir and Rocky Mountain Douglas Fir. The coast variety, which is located in warmer climates on the west coast is larger (up to 250’) and faster growing.
The Rocky Mountain variety is smaller (160 feet) and can be found in the mountainous Pacific Northwest.
The tree needles are flat and approximately 1-1/2” long. The Coast Douglas Firs have a dark yellowish- green color while Rocky Mountain firs have a blue-green needle. Douglas Firs retain their needles year-round.
Douglas Fir trees first produce cones at age 12-30. Cones have a unique three-pronged bract. They are initially green but turn brown as they mature. Each cone contains 25-50 seeds which vary in size. Seeds are single wing and are spread by the wind.
The Douglas Fir tree grows at a moderate rate but starts out slowly. Trees should be planted in well-drained deep acidic or neutral soil and in a location that provides full sunlight to partial shade. Hardiness Zone: 4-6.