Locals and visitors alike marvel at the iconic image of the Douglas-fir. Did you know this tree provides for much more than good pictures? The Doug fir, as it is called by many, is highly revered and for good reason. In addition to its beauty, this tree has played an important role in the history of Oregon as well as the United States. Impress your next visitors by sharing new knowledge about this interesting species.
The Douglas-fir is named for David Douglas, a botanist who described the tree on his first trip to the Pacific Northwest in 1825. More than a century later in 1939 the Douglas-fir was designated Oregon’s state tree in recognition of the significant role it has played in the state’s economic development. In addition to being beloved by Oregonians, the Douglas-fir is well-known across the country. Today, it is the country’s top source of lumber and accounts for nearly half of the Christmas trees grown in the United States. This tree also played a unique role in American history, including being used by Native Americans for building, basketry, and medicinal purposes. Later, Doug fir was used for railroad ties and telephone and telegraph poles as the nation expanded westward.
Keep an eye out for this important species next time you explore the Oregon Coast!