Gigantic Douglas Fir Trees
Written records from early loggers in Oregon and Washington claimed they often felled trees that were 400′ tall, each containing enough high-grade lumber to build seven or eight houses! That lofty tree was the Douglas fir, and it still dominates the great forests of the Pacific Northwest. In 1827, English botanical explorer David Douglas recognized the fir’s amazing resource potential. Hoping that the easily grown tree could adapt to his country’s reforestation efforts, he shipped seed cones from the Columbia River basin back to the British Isles. From that introduction, the fir found favor as fast growing timber first in England, then throughout western Europe. Now, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa all boast amazing Douglas fir forests. In the United States, Douglas fir naturally ranges from the Mexican border north to Alaska, and from the Pacific coast east to the Rocky Mountains. Often found in pure stands, Douglas fir can attain an average mature height of about 300′ or more and diameters from 8′ to 17′.