Meet Douglas Fir: Oregon’s Longtime Friend & Pal

Douglas Fir in Mt Hood National Forest

Old-growth Douglas Fir trees in Mt. Hood National Forest

I know, trees aren’t people. But, the Douglas Fir is about as close to human as a tree can get, I mean, being named Doug and all. I bet you didn’t know that the name comes from David Douglas, a Scottish botanist who traveled through Oregon in the 1820s. Commissioned by the Royal Horticultural Society, his second and most successful expedition began in 1824, and during, he became the first mountaineer in North America. He discovered upwards of 8 new pines, including the Douglas Fir. He is quoted for saying, “you will begin to think I manufacture pines at my pleasure”. It was probably just destiny that Oregon would adopt such an admired tree into its state symbols and culture.

Oregon State Tree: Douglas Fir (AKA Dougie, Oregon Pine Tree)

The Douglas Fir is pretty rad. It seems obvious why it was chosen to be the Oregon State Tree when you know all this.

  • Yell, timber! No tree in the world produces more wood products for human use. And, the Oregon Forest Industry is no joke.
  • Large and in charge. It’s currently the second tallest conifer in the world after the coast redwood.
  • You don’t need a prescription. Some believe it can be used for medicinal purposes – go all Oregon and make probiotic soda. Or, be a traditionalist with simple Pine Needle tea.
  • It’s the animal kingdom’s snack shop. Birds as well as rabbits, elk, deer, beaver, and chipmunks eat the pine needles like humans eat potato chips.
  • It’s also bear snacks. After scraping off the bark, bears will eat the sap layer of the tree.
  • Just like everyone else, Christmas is their favorite holiday. Oregon is the largest supplier of  Christmas trees, in big part thanks to our friend, Doug.
  • It’s bad-a** in a forest fire. Doug Fir’s are often able to withstand forest fires with only blackened bark!

If all that makes you do a little dance in your seat, learn to Do the Dougie so that your dancing is reflective of your new pal, Mr. Doug Fir.

In Portland, bring your new Dougie dance moves on over to the Doug Fir Lounge, yes, the Doug Fir is so beloved in Portland there is a music venue named after it. So Oregon!

Tree Experts in Portland are Standing By

As always, if you have tree care questions, or need some pruning or planting in Portland, Lake Oswego, Tigard, Beaverton, Oregon City or any of the surrounding areas, give our certified arborists a call today.


  1. “David Douglas (botanist).” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 14 Apr. 2017. Web. 30 Apr. 2017.
  2. “Douglas Fir Tree Facts.” DOUGLAS FIR TREE FACTS. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Apr. 2017.
  3. “Douglas Fir.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 28 Apr. 2017. Web. 30 Apr. 2017.
  4. Lang, Frank A. “Douglas-fir.” The Oregon Encyclopedia. Oregon Historical Society, n.d. Web. 30 Apr. 2017.
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