Douglas Fir Trees

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Coniferous Trees, Pacific Northwest

Douglas Fir Trees, BC Coastal Region
Douglas Fir Tree, Photo By Bud Logan

The Douglas Fir trees are a large tree that can reach heights of 90 m on the coast and 45 m in the Interior. Older trees have a long, straight, branch free trunk and a short crown with a flat top. The bark is smooth, grayish brown, with resin filled blisters when young, the bark becomes very thick with age and deeply grooved, with dark reddish brown ridges, sometimes with large patches of running sap. This sap makes a great fire starter.

The needles are flat with a pointed tip. The upper side is a yellowish green, it has a single groove down the center and the lower side is a lighter green color. The needles stand out around the branch. The cones are up to 11 cm long, turning from a bright light green to dull grey as they mature. The Seeds are winged at the tip.

The Douglas Fir trees can be found along the southern mainland coast and over most of Vancouver Island, except for the very northern western tip. Many animals eat douglas fir seeds, including squirrels, mice, shrews and winter wrens. Bears often scrape off the bark on young trees to eat the sap layer beneath.

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