Douglas Fir Growth Rate

Douglas fir can grow to reach heights up to 70 feet. What annual growth rate can you expect?

The Douglas fir is an appealing and quickly growing tree that is often planted in yards and parks. It is an important timber species in the United States and accounts for about half of all Christmas trees cultivated here. Isn’t it fascinating to think about how long it takes to transform a Douglas fir into a Christmas tree?

In this article, I will share how fast a Douglas fir grows and how to make it grow even more quickly!

How Fast Do They Grow?

It takes a Douglas fir anywhere from 6 to 10 years to reach the height of a traditional Christmas tree. Under normal conditions, the tree will grow anywhere from 13 to 24 inches each year. 

bunch of green trees growing in the forest

Mature Size

The Douglas fir achieves its maximum growth potential in USDA Hardiness Zones 4 through 6, which cover the northern and more temperate parts of the country. When fully grown, the coastal types may reach heights that exceed 120 feet. The diameter of a straight trunk may reach 4 feet, though it can occasionally grow to be twice that wide.

At maturity, a Douglas fir will have reached a height of 40 to 70 feet and a spread of 12 to 20 feet.

Where Do They Grow Best?

The Douglas fir grows best in either acidic or neutral soil and has good drainage, although it may also be found growing naturally on the rocky slopes of mountain ranges.

growing trees in the mountain ranges

How Much Sun Do They Need?

This tree thrives in locations that get full sun, which means that it needs about 6 hours of unobstructed, unfiltered sunshine each day. It can tolerate locations with partial sun, which provides 4 hours of direct sunlight.

Tips to Optimize Growth Speed

The Douglas fir grows quickly, but there are ways to make it grow even faster. Check out the tips below.

1. Plant Appropriately

In order to successfully cultivate Douglas firs, you will first need to choose an ideal location. You need to ensure that the tree is planted in an area with enough sunlight and good drainage. Even with the greatest Douglas fir tree care, soil that does not drain well will prevent this evergreen from reaching its full potential.

2. Water Appropriately

A Douglas fir likes water, so you may have to provide irrigation, depending on where you plant your tree. Depending on the amount of rain that falls and how well the soil absorbs it, you may need to water your plants anywhere from one to four times each month.

tree branch with growing longitudinally leaves

3. Space the Plants Correctly

Young Douglas firs should have a minimum spacing of 15 to 20 feet between one another if they are planted in a grouping of two or more trees or in a row for a hedge. After placing each tree in a hole that is 2 feet deep and 3 feet wide, stretch the roots out and loosen them up before backfilling the hole with soil.

4. Prune When Needed

A Douglas fir needs to have one dominant central leader that develops into an upright position. If you have a young tree with two stems, you should choose the one that is stronger and cut the one that is weaker. A tree with co-dominant stems may pose a significant risk of breaking once it reaches maturity. Do not prune your Douglas fir for aesthetic purposes unless it has to have branches removed because they are sick, damaged, or dead.

Jeffrey Douglas
Jeffrey Douglas own a landscaping company and has been in the business for over 20 years. He loves all things related to lawns or gardens and believes that proper maintenance is the key to preventing problems in the first place.
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