Pseudotsuga Menziesii - Douglas-Fir

Pseudotsuga Menziesii - Douglas-Fir

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Common name(s): Douglas-fir, red-fir, Oregon-pine, Douglas-spruce

General bloom time: bud break is in the spring the year before a cone crop 

Identification: Grow more than 200 feet tall; wide range of elevations

Needles: about 1 inch long; grow spirally, all around the twigs; a single needle is flat, yellow-green, with a pointed tip

Fruit: cones are 2-3 inches long, oblong shaped, forked, with snake-tongue-like bracts extending from each scale

Habitat: well-aerated soil; does not do well in poorly drained or compacted soils

Ecology: Seeds are extremely important food for small mammals. Mice, voles, shrews, and chipmunks consumed an estimated 65 percent of a Douglas-fir seed crop following dispersal in western Oregon. Seeds are important in the diets of winter wren, pine siskin, song sparrow, golden-crowned sparrow, white-crowned sparrow, red crossbill, dark-eyed junco, and purple finch. Pine white caterpillars use the needles for food.

Fun Facts:

-      Not a true fir, pine, or spruce

-      Can live for 1000 years!

-      Approximately 2,000 species of fungi have been identified as potential symbionts with this tree

-      Native Americans brewed tea from the needles and twigs 

Places to find in Portland: Forest Park