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Montana Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

Douglas-fir - Pseudotsuga menziesii

Native Species

Global Rank: G5
State Rank: S5
(see State Rank Reason below)

Agency Status
MNPS Threat Rank:
C-value: 4

External Links

State Rank Reason (see State Rank above)
See rank details.
  • Details on Status Ranking and Review
    Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) Conservation Status Review
    Review Date = 05/24/2012
    View State Conservation Rank Criteria
    Population Size

    Score0 - Large: Generally >100,000 individuals.

    Range Extent

    Score0 - Widespread species within Montana (occurs in 5% or more of the state or generally occurring in 6 or more sub-basins.) as well as outside of Montana.

    Area of Occupancy

    Score0 - High: Occurs in >25 Subwatersheds (6th Code HUC’s).

    Environmental Specificity

    Score0 - Low: Species is a generalist that occurs in a variety of habitats and/or is tolerant of disturbed or degraded habitats (C -Values of 1-4).


    Score0 - Stable or Increasing: Population size, range, and/or available habitat stable, increasing or fluctuating in the recent past (approximately 30 years).


    Score0 - Low: Impacts, if any, to the species are expected to be minor or insignificant (affecting <10% of populations) in severity, scope and immediacy.

    Intrinsic Vulnerability

    Score0 - Low Vulnerability: Species does not have any unusual or specific life history or biological attributes or limted reproductive potential which makes it susceptible to extirpation from stochastic events or other adverse impacts to its habitat and thus slow to recover.

    Raw Conservation Status Score

    Score 0 total points scored out of a possible 19.

General Description
Evergreen trees up to 60 m tall with spreading branches and narrow to broadly conical crowns. Bark of older trees thick, furrowed and gray with reddish brown between furrows. Leaves yellow- to blue-green, single, spirally arranged and spreading, 15–25 mm long, stomates lacking on upper surface. Leaf buds conical. Seed cones narrowly ellipsoidal, 3–6 cm long, maturing the first season and shed entire. Scales broadly rhombic, stiff, pubescent, subtended by a longer 3-lobed bract. Seeds winged. Our plants are var. glauca (Lesica 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Species Range
Montana Range


Range Comments
In MT across the western two-thirds of the state; BC to AB south to CA, TX, and Mexico (Lesica 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations: 16818

(Click on the following maps and charts to see full sized version) Map Help and Descriptions
Relative Density



(Observations spanning multiple months or years are excluded from time charts)

Dry to mesic forests; valleys to subalpine and on the plains along the Missouri River (Lesica 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

  • Additional ReferencesLegend:   View Online Publication
    Do you know of a citation we're missing?
    • Artley, D. K. 1978. Predicting duff reduction from broadcast burning in western larch/Douglas fir stands. M.S. Thesis, University of Montana, Missoula.
    • Fraas, W.W. 1992. Bitterbrush growth and reproductive character in relation to browsing in southwest Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 137 p.
    • Gross, J.A. 1998. Elk use of various sized cattle exclosures. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 40 p.
    • Grove, A.J. 1998. Effects of Douglas fir establishment in southwestern Montana mountain big sagebrush communities. M. Sc.Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 150 p.
    • Guenther, G.E. 1989. Ecological relationships of bitterbrush communities on the Mount Haggin Wildlife Management Area. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 73 p.
    • Hoffman, T.L. 1996. An ecological investigation of mountain big sagebrush in the Gardiner Basin. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 84 p.
    • Johnson, J.R. 1966. The effects of some environmental influences on big sagebrush, Artemisia tridentata Nutt., reinvasion. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 100 pp.
    • Johnson, T. W. 1982. An analysis of pack and saddle stock grazing areas in the Bob Marshall Wilderness. M.Sc.Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 105 p.
    • Lesica, P., M.T. Lavin, and P.F. Stickney. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. Fort Worth, TX: BRIT Press. viii + 771 p.
    • Little, E.L., Jr. 1979. Checklist of United States trees (native and naturalized). Agriculture Handbook No. 541. U.S. Forest Service, Washington, D.C. 375 pp.
    • Steinberg, P. D. 2002. Pseudotsuga menziesii var. glauca. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online}. U. S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory.
  • Web Search Engines for Articles on "Douglas-fir"
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Citation for data on this website:
Douglas-fir — Pseudotsuga menziesii.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from