Nebraska Forest Service



Date of this Version



Issued by Nebraska Forest Service. Copyright 2005 University of Nebraska.


Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) is one of the most important timber trees in the United States. It is harvested for a wide variety of uses and is the backbone of the western timber industry. The wood has great strength and yet it is not a very heavy. That has made it most valuable as a raw material for all types of construction. In addition to being an important timber tree, Douglas fir is also a very popular tree for landscape planting and even for windbreaks. The tree is named for David Douglas, a 19th century Scottish botanist and one of the “fathers” of British forestry. In 1939 it was designated the state tree of Oregon. The scientific name (Pseudotsuga menziesii) translates as “false hemlock” (Pseudotsuga) and after Archibald Menzies, an 18th century botanist who collected plants in western North America.