USA Official State Tree of Oregon


Douglas Fir

(Pinaceae Pseudotsuga menziesii)
Adopted in 1939.

The Douglas Fir, Pinaceae Pseudotsuga menziesii, named for David Douglas, a 19th century Scottish botanist, was designated state tree in 1939. Great strength, stiffness and moderate weight make it an invaluable timber product said to be stronger than concrete. Averaging up to 200' in height and six feet in diameter, heights of 325' and diameters of 15' also can be found.

Douglas-fir also called red-fir, Oregon-pine, Douglas-spruce, and piņo Oregon (Spanish), is one of the world's most important and valuable timber trees. It has been a major component of the forests of western North America since the mid-Pleistocene (30). Although the fossil record indicates that the native range of Douglas-fir has never extended beyond western North America, the species has been successfully introduced in the last 100 years into many regions of the temperate forest zone (31). Two varieties of the species are recognized: P. menziesii (Mirb.) Franco var. menziesii, called coast Douglas-fir, and P. menziesii var. glauca (Beissn.) Franco, called Rocky Mountain or blue Douglas-fir.

  • Leaf: Evergreen, single needles that lack woody pegs or suction cups. Needles are yellow-green to blue-green, 3/4 to 1 1/4 inch long, very fragrant. Needle tips are blunt or slightly rounded.
  • Flower: Monoecious; males oblong, red to yellow, near branch tips; females reddish, with long bracts, occurring near branch tips.
  • Fruit: Very distinctive, 3 to 4 inches long with rounded scales. Three-lobed bracts extend beyond the cone scales and resemble mouse posteriors. Maturing in August.
  • Twig: Slender and red-brown, with long, sharp, pointed, red-brown buds.
  • Bark: Smooth and gray on young stems, becoming thickened, red-brown with ridges and deep furrows.
  • Form: A pyramidal crown that is somewhat open and self-prunes poorly. Stems are characteristically straight.


Taxonomic Hierarchy
Kingdom Plantae -- Plants
Subkingdom Tracheobionta -- Vascular plants
Superdivision Spermatophyta ? Seed plants
Division Coniferophyta ? Conifers
Class Pinopsida ?
Order Pinales ?
Family Pinaceae ? Pine family
Genus Pseudotsuga Carr. ? Douglas-fir
Species Pseudotsuga menziesii (Mirbel) Franco ? Douglas-fir


Dendrology at Virginia Tech
U.S. Department of Agriculture