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Forest crops: Douglasia

Forest crops: Douglasia



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Classification, origin and diffusion

Division: Spermatophyta
Subdivision: Gymnospermae
Class: Coniferae
Family: Pinaceae

Douglas fir or Douglasia is widespread in North America where it reaches 100 m. Introduced in Europe in 1830, it is undoubtedly the forestry species that has had the widest diffusion.

Branch with strobili by Douglasia (photo website)

Douglasia logs (website photo)

General characteristics

Size and bearing
Tree up to 100 m high in its area of ​​origin.
Trunk and bark
The trunk is straight, slender, with gray-brown rind, first smooth then furrowed and divided into grayish plaques.
leaves
Evergreen plant with needles up to 3.5 cm long are straight, flexible, flattened, resinous and pleasantly aromatic, green above and greyish below.
Reproductive structures
Yellow male cones, axillary, up to 2 cm long; the female ones on lateral twigs towards the apex of the main branches, hanging on a short curved peduncle, up to 9 cm long.

Uses

It manifests rapid growth (hence its use in wood production) and adapts to any terrain.
Douglasia wood is in great demand but, being of rather varied strength and texture, it requires careful selection to have a good uniformity. It is used for any type of construction, houses, bridges, boats, carpentry in general; this wood, in fact, is light, robust, elastic and durable against atmospheric agents.
A mature Douglas fir is also a beautiful ornamental tree.

Silvicultural aspects

Generally this species is treated with a satin cut and shift between 30 and 70 years. Renewal is artificial. When compared with other species of conifers, the shift is rather short. The plant is carried out with a variable density, from 1000 to 3000 plants per hectare, too sparse populations will lead to the growth of too branchy individuals. At the end of the shift, after geometric thinning and from the bottom, only 40 plants per hectare can be counted, with remarkable dominant heights of 30 - 35 m.


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