Introduced from North America by the great plant hunter David Douglas in the 1830’s, the Douglas Fir is the second tallest tree in the world. In the wild it can reach 100m, but its more usual height in cultivation is nearer 50m. It is an impressive, handsome tree with richly scented foliage and is used equally in commercial plantations and as a specimen tree in large parks and gardens.
Site and soil
Prefers a well-drained fertile soil. Does well on acid and neutral soils, but chalk should be avoided. Wind tolerant and can cope with some shade.
Height and spread
After 10 years: 9m x 3m After 20 years: 17m x 5m
Leaf and bark
The dark green needle-like leaves are densely set on the branches. When crushed, they have a strong fruity scent. The bark is is smooth and grey at first, later becoming deeply fissured and red-brown.
Flower, seed and fruit
The male flowers are yellow, the females yellow-green. They are followed by cones which change from green to yellow, pink then light brown on ripening. They are about 7.5cm long with conspicuous bracts and hang downwards from the branches.
Ornamental tree, avenues, commercial forestry. The wood is high quality and is used in building, for furniture and flooring. The branches make a lovely scented decoration for the house at Christmas time. The leaves have been used to make a tea, and also a coffee substitute. The resin has been used medicinally and as a chewing gum by Native Americans. The bark yields a dye, has been used to tan leather and as a cork substitute.
The Douglas Fir provides food and shelter for a variety of birds, deer and small mammals. Insects shelter in the bark crevices and birds nest in the branches.
The main reasons for buying protection is to protect the plants against:
When it comes to deciding what protection to choose the golden rule is to choose the product dependent on which pest you are protecting against. The below will help you in deciding what height of protection you will need.
Vole, Mice 20cm
Roe Deer, Muntjac 1.20m
Fallow Deer 1.50m
Pest & Minimum Protection Height
Protection Type Where more than one size is listed, the wider diameter protection is recommended for taller, bushier plants.
Support Required Taller support is recommended for use in sandier, lighter soils and wider/stronger support should be used at exposed sites.