Douglas-fir: Meaning & Uses

The Douglas fir tree grows rapidly, which explains its importance in renewing or rebuilding woodland areas

The Douglas fir tree grows rapidly, which explains its importance in renewing or rebuilding woodland areas

flag577Arbre1520%FR high forest Palotas Forest 23

VAT incl.


timeUneven-aged high forest

locationPalotas Forest

ageTime before cutting: 91 years


Estimated CO2 absorption: 900 kg info

Expected gross gain : €91info

Hailing from North America, the Douglas-fir's common name is misleading since it is not a true fir (which is why it is commonly spelled with a hyphen and not as two words). It was introduced in Europe in the early years of the 19th century by a Scottish botanist and collector who first reported the extraordinary nature and potential of the species and whose name was given to the tree: David Douglas.

The why

Why does EcoTree plant Douglas-fir?

Its strong resistance to cold and late frost, to heavy snow and to the wind make it the ideal tree for EcoTree to plant in cold and wet regions. The Douglas is the natural home to many animal, vegetal and fungal species.


Douglas - Description


The Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) is a giant tree, it can grow up to 100 meters tall in its native soil, in North America, and can reach up to 50 meters in Europe. This hardy softwood tree has persistent foliage with linear leaves that are 2 or 3 cm long, soft to the touch with two very specific white stripes on the back; they have a lemongrass smell when crushed.
Its rapid growth sees its branches spread out and its smooth grey bark thickens. It can live from 300 to 500 years!
With its height and a very straight trunk, it is used for its natural durability which makes it rot-resistant. This quality is precious in a time when ecological preoccupations have come to the forefront. It is monoecious, i.e. the plant has both male and female reproductive organs on the same plant. The male flowers are yellow and globulous, and the female flowers are longer, with green and purple tones.

Planting & maintenance

Douglas - Species requirements

A tolerant species when it is young, it quickly needs lots of light to prosper. It is resilient to the winter cold and the summer drought. However, in its early years, it can succumb to the winter drought, to violent winds, or to a late frost.

It originally hails from regions with mild and humid climates. In Europe, it is sensitive to the dryness of the air, especially when in its first years. All the well-drained soils are suited to it, if they are humid, with no chalk or low acidity. The Douglas-fir needs to be in the sun or mid shade. It is planted in the spring or autumn.


The Douglas-fir's wood

Douglas wood keeps its remarkable mechanical properties despite the passage of time, thanks to its anatomical and structural properties, making it an ideal building material. Its hard centre gives it good resistance. Thanks to its large width, long trunk and nice finish the Douglas is the ideal wood for traditional roof frameworks.


The Douglas tree's symbolism

The Douglas-fir symbolises resistance and durability. This makes it the ideal gift for a long lived marriage and a union that weathers all the trials of life. With this living green token, the happiness of the wedding day will be unforgettable.

You can offer the tree to the young couple, for them to remember it for their whole life! The Douglas-firs symbolize the best of what we can wish newly-weds, a fruitful and loving life. Offer a tree as a wedding gift, offer a Douglas-fir!