Douglas Fir
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The Douglas Fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii)  is a
native of the West from the Rocky Mountains to
the Pacific Coast and from British Columbia to
Mexico. It is Oregon's state tree. It was named
after explorer-botanist David Douglas, who found
the species in Oregon.

Neither a Fir nor a Spruce, Douglas Fir is more
kin to Hemlock (
Pseudotsuga means "false
hemlock"). It is a magnificent tree usually
growing in moist shady areas, but it is also found
on rocky open slopes. In the Four Corners it is a
giant at 180 feet and five feet in diameter, but
in Pacific coastal areas it reaches well over 250
feet tall and 8 feet in diameter. It is common in
cool mesa coves, foothills, lower mountains, and
even subalpine of the Four Corners.

Douglas Fir was formerly known as "Douglas
Spruce", and thus came the name for the now
famous "Spruce Tree House" of Mesa Verde
National Park. In the late 1800s the Wetherill
brothers found a long forgotten complex of
buildings and shinnied down a "Douglas Spruce" to
reach them.

Douglas Fir needles are flat, soft, shiny green,
fragrant, and 1 to 1 ½ inches long.  New needles
are light blue-green to light green.  Cones are
distinctive, having bracts projecting from the
cone like little mouse tails.  Douglas Fir bark is
dark gray and irregularly furrowed.
Douglas Firs in Bryce Canyon NP, UT