Douglas Fir Tree

Douglas Fir Tree

This article will give you all the information about the the Douglas fir tree, how to take care of it, what are the various diseases affecting it, etc.
Gardenerdy Staff
Douglas fir trees or Pseudotsuga menziesii, are evergreen coniferous trees which are a native of North America, Mexico and also parts of Asia. This tree was discovered for the first time by a Scottish botanist called Archibald Menzies in the late 18th century. Later it was rediscovered by another Scottish botanist called David Douglas in the 19th century and it was after him that the tree was named. It was he who first introduced the tree in England.


These trees are tall, and they are broader than the Spruce tree. They usually bloom during mid spring and usually grow to a height of 50 to 250 feet. The branches of these trees often spread for around 10 to 25 feet and they can live for at least 1300 years. They are including in the list of fast growing evergreen trees. The leaves of these trees are soft, flat and linear, and they encircle the branches completely. The leaves are blue-green in color and some can also be dark green in color. Each of these leaves have a needle which is around 2 cm in length. The cones of these trees usually hang down, instead of sticking up. They are mainly found in the foothills of the Rocky mountains. One major fact that one must keep in mind is that although they are called fir tress, they are actually not fir trees and that they are not members of the genus Abies.

Diseases and Care

They are used as food plants by the larvae of some of the insects like bordered white, turnip moth, the engrailed, etc. They also suffer from several fungal diseases, which if not treated on time, can kill the entire tree.
  • Tattering of the leaves
  • Formation of powdery mildew
  • The trunk of the tree starts to rot.
  • The roots also starts to suffer from a particular disease called charcoal disease.
  • Cankers on the trees.
In order to protect the tree from these diseases, one should learn how to take care of them. Given below are some of the care tips which if you follow.

While planting the seeds, make sure that the soil is well drained and that it does not retain much water, otherwise the excess water in the soil might damage the roots. While planting the saplings, spray some animal repellent spray so that deer, rabbits, mice, etc. stay away from the plant. One has to water the sapling daily, specially after planting, for at least three consecutive days. After that water it on a weekly basis. After 6 or 7 weeks of planting the sapling, add fertilizers to the soil. In order to keep pests and other insects away, you can use natural or chemical pesticides.

Douglas fir trees have several uses. The wood of these trees are highly durable and they are used to make furniture, houses, etc., and can also used for ship building and making wooden floors. These trees are also used during Christmas. The seeds are eaten by squirrels, chipmunks, deer, and several other birds and mammals. These evergreen trees are good for preventing soil erosion and are also good for windbreaks.