Friday, January 6, 2012

Douglas Fir

 So the quest begins to figure out the names of all of these trees. I wish I knew someone who was an expert, who could help positively identify them, but today I had a pleasant surprise. A had a couple of hours to kill before work today, so I took a short hike in Jackson State Demonstration Forest to look for mushrooms. I forgot that the area where I went looking has several signs up in various spots that identify the trees.
 I came to a sign that was labeled the Douglas Fir. I read it, quickly discarded the info, and began searching the ground for shrooms again. Wait, the Douglas Fir! So this is what it looks like! In the book, "The Wild Trees" by Richard Preston, he talks about the Douglas Fir, and how many people thought the tallest tree in the world could have been a Douglas Fir at one point, not a Redwood. These trees can also grow to massive heights, over 350 feet tall. All of a sudden, it was as if my eyes were suddenly opened. I could see Douglas Firs growing in many places, alongside the Redwoods. I remember seeing these trees before, thinking that the bark looked different from a redwood, but the branches looked pretty much the same from the ground. They also were soaring towards the sky. I just assumed they were also redwoods that grew differently for whatever reason.
I also can't believe that these massive giants are one of the most popular types of Christmas trees on the market. Driving around town today, I saw many conifers lying in trash cans, perhaps Douglas Firs. Even though all of these trees have a common distinct shape they are supposed to take, I can't get over how different they all seem to look when they are growing. I guess that's why trees are often identified by their bark and pine cones. Their shapes can take all sorts of forms. The spotted owl also makes its home in Douglas Firs. That would be a real treat to see one of them.


  1. Tough to i.d. trees when their leaves or needles are dozens (or scores) of feet above your head, isn't it? ;D

  2. Yeah, it makes a positive identification a "tall order" for sure. :)