Douglas Fir Pseudotsuga menziesii
The Douglas Fir, a conifer native to western North America, was introduced in 1827. On the Pacific Coast it can grow to nearly 100m in height. It is now common in the UK in large gardens, parks and forests. It grows quickly and is usually tall and straight. The Douglas Fir is related to the Silver Firs but, unlike them it has a long thin, pointed bud. It can easily be recognised by its cone which has 3-pronged ‘bracts’ sticking out from its surface. The cones fall when ripe and are always found under the tree.
The buds are pointed like a beech, quite different from the ‘true’ firs which have the latin name Abies. These are known as Silver Firs and all have rounded buds.
The cones are distinctive. They have 3-pronged ‘bracts’ as shown ringed in this photograph. There is no other tree that has cones like this. The cones fall when ripe and are always found on the floor under the tree. This differs from the Silver Firs and Cedars which have cones that break-up on the tree and are rarely found under the tree.