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Pseudotsuga menziesii

Douglas Fir
Pinaceae
Evergreen, Trees

PSEUDOTSUGA

The two trees described here are quite similar, but they differ greatly in status—the first is little known, while the second is the most prominent tree in the Pacific Northwest.

Pseudotsuga menziesii

Native from the Pacific coast to the Rocky Mountains and into Southwest desert sky islands. Since pioneer days, Northwesterners have gardened under and near this magnificent native tree. In cultivation, it grows 80–160 ft. tall, 20–30 ft.wide; in forests, it reaches 250 ft. tall. Young trees are sharply pyramidal and foliaged to the ground; they are popular as Christmas trees. As trees age, they lose lower limbs. Branches are densely clothed in soft, 1 1/2-in.-long, deep green or blue-green needles that radiate in all directions. Needles are sweetly fragrant when crushed. Ends of branches turn up. Pointed wine red buds form at branch tips in winter, open to apple green new growth in spring. Reddish brown, oval cones are about 3 in. long,with obvious three-pronged bracts; they are pendent, unlike the upright cones of true firs (Abies).

There are many garden-scale forms of this tree, from natural dwarfs to weeping varieties.

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