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Douglas Fir

Will Ship Spring 2024

Plant Type: Evergreen, bare-root

Zones:  4-6

Soil Type:  Loamy & Sandy Soils

Site Selection: Full Sun, Partial Sun

Mature Height & Width:  60-80' Height and 12-20' Spread

Growth Rate:  Moderate - 12-24" per year once established

Moisture Requirements: Average

Douglas Fir Plugs Also Available - Click Here

Plant Characteristics

Douglas Fir

Pseudotsuga menziesii

The Douglas fir has a large pyramid shape and straight trunk, growing to a height of 80'+ in the right conditions. This evergreen exhibits bark which is smooth and grey-brown, having gummy resin-filled blisters when young. As the tree ages, the bark becomes very thick and deeply grooved, with dark reddish-brown ridges. We sell the Lincoln variety which features blue-green to green needles. While this conifer should be in a wind protected area, the Douglas Fir does well as part of a windbreak or living snow fence.

The Douglas Fir tree starts out dense as it is young. As the tree reaches for the sky, the lower branches may self prune in less than ideal growing conditions. The Douglas Fir is very shade intolerant.

Fun Fact:  In Boston, the USS Constitution sails proudly under the power of three Douglas Fir masts.

Common uses:

  • Evergreen
  • Commonly used as a Christmas tree when young
  • Used in building anything from airplanes to furniture


Like most other conifers, the Douglas Fir can provide nesting habitat and cover for many types of birds and small mammals.  Antelope, deer, elk, mountain goats, and mountain sheep eat the twigs and foliage in the winter or early spring when their other food supplies are covered in snow or have not yet emerged. The seeds of Douglas Firs are used by blue grouse, songbirds, squirrels, rabbits, and other small animals. Bears often scrape off the bark on young trees to eat the sap layer beneath the surface.  On large Douglas Fir trees, it is common to see an eagle or hawk perched on top seeking out its next meal.  

Product Questions

Can the Douglas Fir survive in Vermont?
Question by: Devon Lawson on Dec 2, 2020, 8:45 PM
The Douglas Fir growing zones are 4-6. Vermont's growing zone is 4, so yes they can be grown in Vermont.
Answer by: Chief River Nursery on Dec 3, 2020, 9:14 AM
How far apart do you plant the Douglas Firs ?
Question by: Neil Mason on Jan 14, 2022, 7:48 PM
Depending on your application, trees can be planted 12 to 15 feet apart.
Answer by: Chief River Nursery on Jan 17, 2022, 8:10 AM
How big of a hole is needed for 3 year transplants?
Question by: Jen on Feb 20, 2022, 9:40 AM
Typically, you are going to need a good shovel full or larger for the transplant sized trees. You want to make sure that the tree roots hang straight down and not form a "j" on the bottom of the hole. So deeper, rather than wider should accommodate the roots.
Answer by: Chief River Nursery on Feb 21, 2022, 1:05 PM
are these rocky mountain or pacific coast variety?
Question by: lester conner on Sep 17, 2022, 8:52 AM
I will find out and let you know. I will be in touch in a few days.
Answer by: Chief River Nursery on Sep 19, 2022, 10:12 AM
It is the Lincoln variety.
Answer by: Chief River Nursery on Sep 19, 2022, 3:15 PM