Photo Tour: Douglas-fir, Pseudotsuga menziesii

Douglas-fir has a huge geographic range in western North America. The forests it dominates reach their greatest expression in the Cascade Mountains of British Columbia, Washington, and Oregon, where trees far exceeding 300 feet were once abundant and trees over 400 feet were measured. Today any Douglas-fir in these forests over 300 feet is exceptional, as precious few escaped logging. The highest concentration of Douglas-firs over 300 feet tall now resides in northwestern California amidst the redwoods, where the tallest live-topped individual stands 318 feet. Our studies of Douglas-fir continue in California.

Other Photo Tours

Doing Canopy Science »

How exactly do scientists explore the tops of the world's tallest trees? Here's a slideshow detailing some of the climbing techniques used in canopy research at Humboldt State University.

Redwood, Sequoia sempervirens »

These five photo tours detail the world's tallest tree species, coast redwood (Sequoia sempervirens), the crown structure of redwood trees, views from old-growth forest canopies, and the unique plants and animals that live hundreds of feet above the ground.

Giant Sequoia, Sequoiadendron giganteum »

This photo tour explores my work with Sequoiadendron giganteum, the giant sequoia. This species is confined to California's Sierra Nevada, where they reach sizes greater than the biggest living coast redwoods and ages up to 3200 years.

Sitka spruce, Picea sitchensis »

Targeted by loggers for its wood, whose strength to weight ratio is among the highest on Earth, very little old-growth Sitka spruce forest remains. As with Douglas-fir, the highest concentration of Sitka spruce over 300 feet now resides in northwestern California amidst the redwoods.

Eucalyptus regnans »

Eucalyptus regnans is the undisputed tallest flowering plant in the world. There are, for instance, many well-publicized claims of several trees over 400 feet that were either logged or burned in the 19th and 20th centuries. Today the tallest living individual is a 327-foot-tall Tasmanian tree. This photo tour takes you into Australia's tallest forests.