Different Ecosystems:

Tallgrass Prairie: Midwest | Chaparral: California & Southwest | Ponderosa Pine: West | Douglas Fir: West | Loblolly & Shortleaf Pine: South | Jack Pine: Great Lakes States

Doulas fir

Douglas fir in Olympic National Park, Washington

Douglas Fir: Western United States

Douglas-fir is widely distributed throughout the northwest U.S., including Oregon and Washington, as well as southern British Columbia, Canada.

This forest type favors moist climates where rainfall often exceeds 50 inches annually and is generally found among other tree species rather than as a single-species forest type. The principle trees associated with Douglas-fir are western hemlock, silver, noble and grand firs, and western red cedar.

Douglas Fir Range Map in the US and Canada

Range map of Douglas fir

Douglas-fir is able to survive without fire. Additionally, the tree species possesses characteristics that enable it to withstand fire when it does occur. The Douglas-fir’s abundantly produced seeds are lightweight and winged, allowing the wind to carry them to new locations where seedlings can be established.

Douglas-fir regenerates readily on sites that are prepared by fire. In fact, nearly all the natural stands of Douglas-fir in the United States originated following fire. One of the main benefits of fire in these forest communities is the removal of fuel and consequent reduction of the chance of severe crown fires. Because Douglas-fir exists in the presence of other types of trees, the timing of a prescribed fire in this type of forest community must consider the life cycles of many species.