Pseudotsuga menziesii

Common Name(s)

Douglas fir, Oregon pine


Pseudotsuga menziesii (Mirb.) Franco



Flora Category

Vascular - Exotic

NVS Species Code


The National Vegetation Survey (NVS) Databank is a physical archive and electronic databank containing records of over 94,000 vegetation survey plots - including data from over 19,000 permanent plots. NVS maintains a standard set of species code abbreviations that correspond to standard scientific plant names from the Ngä Tipu o Aotearoa - New Zealand Plants database.

Structural Class

Gymnosperm Trees & Shrubs


Terrestrial. A plant of lowland, montane and subalpine habitats growing in sites with low-moderate fertility (Timmins & MacKenzie 1995). A plant of scrub and forest margin communities, shrublands, tussockland and light wells in forest (Timmins & MacKenzie 1995).


Very large resinous evergreen tree. Bark thick, reddish-brown beneath, rough and furrowed when mature. Branches in irregular whorls, horizontal; branchlets usually drooping. Shoots light to dark brown, ridged, with short hairs. Winter buds to 1 cm long, shining purplish-brown, narrow and sharp. Leaves 15-38 x 1-2 mm, in 2 ranks, needle-like, whitish beneath, edges often rolled, orange-scented when crushed. Male cones 12-20 mm long, catkin-like. Female cones 5-10 cm long, cylindric, papery, downward-pointing; seed scales large and broad; bract scales longer and thinner than seed scales, 3-pointed, centre point longest.

Similar Taxa

Pseudotsuga can be separated from Tsuga as it lacks the persistent leaf base. Pseudotsuga macrocarpa is known to be cultivated in New Zealand and has cones 10 - 18 cm long. P. sinensis & P. japonica is also cultivated in specialist collections; both are from Asia .

Flower Colours

No Flowers

Propagation Technique


Year Naturalised



N. America

Reason For Introduction


Life Cycle Comments

Perennial. Seedlings require the presence of a mycorrhizal fungi with seedlings establishing most readily on well lit sheltered sites where there is no competition from other vegetation. The plant seldom spreads onto land where vegetation cover is dense. Seed is produced at a rate of 20 000 seeds per mature tree annually (Timmins & MacKenzie 1995).

Seed is dispersed in autumn and winter by wind and gravity and remains viable for a few weeks to many years.


The plant is tolerant to shade, more so than other conifers and intolerant of drought. The plant is frost tolerant when it is higher than 2m. Physical damage results in regrowth if green foliage remains intact, recovers from browsing (Timmins & MacKenzie 1995). The plant recovers after fire if there is an adjacent seed source.

This page last updated on 16 Dec 2019