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West Cascade Range Crest, Oregon and Washington

 
 
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Trees of the Pacific Coast Old-Growth Forest

Douglas-fir cones (photo by Dave Powell, USDA Forest Service, www.forestryimages.org).The Douglas-fir, western hemlock, western redcedar, Pacific silver fir, and Sitka spruce are conifers--they have needles. Also, they produce their seeds in cones. Conifers are well adapted to survive the Pacific Northwest's dry summers.

An old-growth Douglas-fir is often 200 feet tall, and its trunk can be anywhere from 3 to 20 feet in diameter. A tree the size has about 60 million needles. The Statue of Liberty is 305 feet tall, measuring from the base to the top of the torch. In comparison, that means the average old-growth Douglas-fir is two-thirds as tall as the Statue of Liberty.

The biggest Douglas-fir tree that was ever found died a few years ago. It was 298 feet tall and 12 feet in diameter. Here's how this biggest known Douglas-fir compares in size to the blue whale, which is the largest animal.

 

Biggest Douglas-fir Blue whale
298 feet tall 100 feet long
Tree trunk weighed 175 tons Weighs as much as 150 tons

 

Here are some interesting facts about some of the main tree species in the Pacific coast old-growth forest:

Bigleaf Maple (Acer macrophyllum)
Douglas-Fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii)
Pacific Silver Fir (Abies amabilis)
Sitka Spruce (Picea sitchensis)
Western Redcedar (Thuja plicata)
Western Hemlock (Tsuga heterophylla)

 

 

 

 

 

Douglas-fir canopy.

USDA Forest Service - Pacific Northwest Research Station
Last Modified: Monday, 16 December 2013 at 14:18:41 CST


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