24. Pseudotsuga menziesii

The Douglas fir is a native of North West America. They have been known to live for over 1000 years and the tallest on record was measured in Whatcom County, North America in 1897 at an incredible 142 metres (465 feet) tall. This one currently stands at about 22 metres (75 feet) high. The common name refers to the Scottish Botanist, David Douglas who reported the nature and potential of the species in the late 1700’s. The common name is misleading as it is not a true Fir (Abies genus). The species Menziesii is named after Archibald Menzies, a Scottish Physician and naturalist who first documented the tree on Vancouver Island in 1791.

The Douglas fir is the tallest tree in Britain with a specimen near Inverness standing at 66.4 metres (218 feet) tall. Research shows they could reach 476 feet tall at which point water supply would fail!  The timber is used in many industries including construction, marine structures and railways. They are also popular as Christmas trees and are grown ornamentally in parks and gardens.