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Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii)
BLOOM & FRUITS
Douglas fir blooms March-June, with cones maturing in September.
USE BY PEOPLE & CULTURAL SIGNIFICANCE
There is an old story of mice trying to escape a huge forest fire. They asked to shelter in the Douglas fir, and hid inside its cones to survive. If you look closely the legs and tail are still sticking out of the cone scales! This tree has many uses. Its needles can be steeped for a medicinal tea. The hard wood is used for tools and construction, as well as fuel. Its pitch is used for caulking, as well as medicinally.
Cones are eaten by Douglas Squirrels, and seeds are favoured by Pine Siskins and Crossbills. Larval host for caterpillars including Pine White and Columbia silkmoth.
Huge, majestic tree – fast growing so may have weak new wood and falling branches so best planted away from structures and paths. When pruning, trim only new growth of current season and any dieback. Seedlings need sun to establish and grow primarily after fires. Apply a thick layer of mulch to maintain moisture.