Pseudo-leopard or Douglas: tips for planting and care in the open field

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Pseudo-leopard or Douglas: tips for planting and care in the open field
Pseudo-leopard or Douglas: tips for planting and care in the open field

Description of the pseudo-slug plant, recommendations for planting and caring for Douglas in a personal plot, breeding rules, methods of combating diseases and pests, notes to gardeners, species and varieties.

Pseudotsuga (Pseudotsuga) can be found with the synonymous names of Douglas, Douglas fir, or Letsuga. This representative of the flora belongs to the Pine family (Pinaceae), which includes this genus of coniferous evergreen trees. In nature, such plants prefer the mountainous areas of Japan and China, as well as the North American continent (Pacific coast). On European lands, the pseudo-slug appeared only at the beginning of the 19th century (by 1828) and gained popularity due to its rapid growth and high-quality wood. Today, it is cultivated in the forested areas of the central and western regions of Europe. The genus, based on information provided by The Plant List 2016 database, contains only four varieties.

Family name Pine
Growing period Perennial
Vegetation form Tree-like
Breeds Generatively (by seeds) or vegetatively (by rooting cuttings)
Open ground transplant terms In early spring, until the buds blossomed
Landing rules Depending on the type and variety, 1, 5-4 m is left between the seedlings
Priming Nutritious, well-drained, loamy
Soil acidity values, pH 6, 5-7 (neutral)
Illumination level Semi-shaded location
Humidity level Regular watering for young plants
Special care rules Fertilizers are needed for the first 2 years after planting.
Height options 90-140 m
Decorative period Year-round
Fruit type Cones
Fruit color Reddish orange, greenish or purple
The timing of fruit ripening Aug. Sept
Application in landscape design As a tapeworm or in group plantings, the formation of hedges
USDA zone 4–6

The plant got its name "Douglasia" thanks to the Scottish botanist and biologist David Douglas (1799-1834), who first introduced Pseudotsuga menziesii into cultivation at the Scone Palace (Scotland) in 1827. The botanist also became famous for bringing many native American tree species to Europe. The hyphen form "Douglas-fir" or Douglas fir (Douglas fir) is used by some to indicate that Pseudotsuga spp. Are not true spruces belonging to the genus Abies. Despite the general similarity with the hemlock, Douglas has different characteristics. So, for example, the shape of the crown of the hemlock pyramidal needles is soft and flat (in some way it all resembles a fir), in the pseudo-tree the needles are more like spruce, with prickly tops. Due to its natural distribution, the tree is also called "Oregon pine" or "Oregon pine".

The height of representatives of the genus can range from 90–140 m, while the diameter of the trunk of an adult plant reaches 4.5 m. The duration of the growing life of Douglas fir can reach seven hundred years, but older specimens are also found. The outlines of the crown are wide-conical, there is a sharpening at the top, but over time, the crown becomes more and more rounded. The branches grow densely and almost perpendicular to the trunk. Lateral shoots on the branches tend to droop.

When the tree is young, its bark has a grayish-green hue, but with age it becomes brown, covered with deep cracks and quite thick (about 30–35 cm).Over time, such layers of the bark begin to flake off, opening up access to the thickened cork tissue. It is this property that makes it possible for the Oregon pine to recover after natural disasters or forest fires.

The color of the bark on the shoots is yellowish-brown, the surface is glossy. The needles are flat, than the plant resembles a fir. The length of the needles ranges from 1.5–2.5 cm, often reaching 3.5 cm, but there is a sharpness at the top. The color of the needles can be either blue or rich emerald. At the same time, the upper side is monophonic, but on the reverse, just like a fir, there is a pair of longitudinally running grooves. The coniferous cover can be preserved on the branches for eight years.

In pseudo-cones, the outlines are elongated-ovoid. Their length is measured 7–12 cm with a width of about 3–4, 5 cm. They grow hanging from the shoots. At the same time, male cones are formed in the sinuses of annual shoots. Their size is small and the surface is covered with reddish-orange pollen. At the ends of the young twigs, rather spectacular female cones are formed. When the cone is young, its woody scales are distinguished by a snug fit. The scales hide access to small, winged seeds. The wings can show outward, which makes the bud even more attractive. In some species, the color of the cones is even more interesting due to the purple hue.

The ripening of cones occurs in the same year, and this time falls on the period from August to September. Then the scales open, the wind picks up the seeds, carrying them at considerable distances from the mother plant. Buds begin to fall off in the winter months. Douglasia begins to bear fruit, reaching the age of 7-12 years.

The plant is not difficult to care for and can successfully replace the spruce, fir and pine trees that have long become familiar in our gardens. Also, due to the high growth rate, the gardener can get a full-fledged small tree by the second growing season, since the annual growth of Douglas fir is about half a meter. Since the frost resistance is the same as that of other members of the pine family, and there is also resistance to a gassed urban environment, the Oregon pine is recommended for growing in parks and in personal plots.

Planting and caring for Douglas, growing in the open field

The pseudo-slug grows
  1. Landing place selected with shade from direct sunlight. Since plants can safely be under the sun in the morning and evening hours, it is recommended for them to look for an eastern or western location. Direct streams of ultraviolet radiation at noon will negatively affect the condition of the needles and reduce the beauty of the Douglas fir.
  2. Soil for pseudo-dry it is recommended to use a well-drained loamy product with neutral acidity, pH 6, 5–7. It is best for Oregon pine to use a soil mixture composed of leaf soil, leaf humus and peat chips in a ratio of 3: 2: 2. It is important that the soil is not sandy or heavy, clayey or too wet. Douglas can also grow on podzolic or carbonate substrates. If the soil on the site is too compacted, then the use of drainage is recommended.
  3. Planting a pseudo-slug. For this manipulation, seedlings are used that have reached 5–8 years of age, which will ensure their guaranteed adaptation and engraftment in a new place. It is recommended to plant seedlings at the very beginning of spring, when the buds on the branches have not yet awakened. A planting hole is dug so that its depth is 0.8–1 m. When planting a pseudo-stick, use a drainage layer, which will serve as protection for the root system. Before planting, you need to pour 5–8 cm of drainage on the bottom of the pit; coarse river sand and small pieces of broken brick can appear. The drainage is covered with a sufficient layer of soil.It is necessary to leave the pit in this state for a month so that the substrate poured into it settles well. After that, the Douglas sapling is placed on a mound of soil and the root shoots are carefully straightened. The pit is filled to the top with the same soil and the plant is watered abundantly. After watering, the soil will settle down a little and it needs to be poured to the previous level. When planting between seedlings of Oregon pine, it is recommended to leave 1.5–4 m, which directly depends on the species and variety that is planned to be grown on the site.
  4. Watering especially important when caring for Douglos fir at a young age. Such specimens need regular but moderate moistening of the soil. They need to be carried out when the soil begins to dry out. Each tree should have a bucket of water, which is poured under the root. In order for the crown to remain beautiful and not lose its appearance, it is recommended to periodically spray it with water at room temperature (20-23 degrees). So that after watering the substrate is not taken with a crust, it is loosened, then air and moisture easily reach the root system. Despite the fact that in nature the tree is considered drought-resistant, it is recommended to constantly monitor the condition of the soil and not allow it to completely dry out.
  5. Fertilizers when growing pseudo-slugs, it should be performed only the first couple of years after planting. The best choice in this case would be organic preparations, for example, peat chips or well-rotted manure. As they grow older, such feeding of Douglas will no longer be needed, since the plant will receive all the trace elements from its own fallen and rotted coniferous mass. You can use fertilizers intended for conifers in the spring - Bor or Agricol. For 5-6 years of cultivation, if it is noticed that the soil mixture is depleted, then it is recommended to mix peat or leaf humus into it.
  6. Pruning Douglas fir is carried out only to give its crown the desired shape, although its natural appearance is also quite attractive. Even if the specimen is still young, it still brings cutting off the branches without any problems. Cutting of lateral shoots is performed in order to stimulate a more lush growth of the crown.
  7. Wintering pseudo-sugi. Adult Oregon pines can successfully endure even very severe winter frosts, but until the plant is at a decent age, it can suffer in winter. It is best to take care of shelter for such trees at the end of autumn. The soil in the near-trunk circle must be covered with a layer of peat crumb mulch, and fallen dry foliage or spruce branches can also act as mulch. The height of such a layer should reach 20 cm. Before winter, young shoots should also be tied up so that the snow cap cannot cause them to break off. You can use non-woven material for shelter (for example, spandbond or lutrasil).
  8. The use of pseudo hours in landscape design. The plant, like any other representative of pine, can become a real decoration of any site. If the view is tall with monumental outlines, then it can be planted in the center of the courtyard as a tapeworm. If Douglas trees are characterized by low height parameters, then with their help they often form a hedge. Since the branches easily tolerate shearing, the crown of the Oregon pine tree has the ability to give a wide variety of outlines. At the same time, you can even try yourself in creating green sculptures.

Read also about growing lungwort in your garden.

Breeding rules for pseudo-slugs

Khvoinki Pseudo-Sugi

There is a possibility of reproduction of the Oregon pine both generatively (by seeds) and vegetatively (by cuttings).

Reproduction of pseudo-suga using seeds

If the seed material was kept cool, then its germination will not be lost even after a decade. When stored warm, germination will disappear after a year.Since the embryo in the seed of the Oregon pine is covered with a dense crust, it is necessary to stratify it in the cold to awaken it. For this, Douglas seeds are sown before winter (in November) in planting containers or greenhouses. A loose soil mixture is used. Seeds are embedded in the soil no more than 1, 5–2 cm. From above, the crops are covered with a mulching layer. With the arrival of winter, all the sown seeds are sprinkled with a good layer of snow.

When spring comes, it will be possible to see the first shoots of pseudo-sludge, and after a month, dive and thin them out. The temperature at which the seedlings are grown should be in the range of 18-23 degrees. The place is selected with good lighting, but shading from direct sunlight is important. As soon as spring comes, you can take the seedlings out into the open air, for the winter period they are covered with transparent plastic wrap. Planting in open ground to a permanent place is possible only next year, but experienced gardeners continue to care until the plant reaches 5 years of age. It is important to note that Oregon pines grown in this way will be more frost-resistant.

Propagation of pseudo-slugs by cuttings

For this manipulation, the spring period is selected, while the buds have not yet awakened. Slicing is done from the side branches of young Douglas. Each stalk must have a "heel" - a piece of old wood tissue, so the blanks are not even cut, but broken off. Before planting, it is important to process the cut of the cutting with any root formation stimulator (for example, take Kornevin). Cuttings are planted in a pot with loose and well-drained soil laid in it, trying to arrange them at an angle of 60-70 degrees. The place in which the container with cuttings is placed should be shaded from direct streams of ultraviolet radiation.


When planting cuttings of a pseudo-stick, it is necessary to maintain the orientation of the needles.

In order to ensure high humidity during rooting, a container with cuttings is covered with plastic wrap or a plastic bottle with a cut bottom is placed on top. While rooting is in progress, the temperature should be kept in the range of 15-18 degrees. Moistening is carried out very carefully so that the soil does not become waterlogged, as there is a possibility of rot development. Only after the buds on the seedlings begin to open, the temperature is raised to a range of 20-23 degrees.

Until the cuttings are completely rooted in the greenhouse, at least 1–1.5 months should pass. It is important to maintain greenhouse conditions during the first winter, and only when the new spring comes can the shelter be removed from the seedlings.

Read also how to propagate larch yourself

Disease and pest control methods for growing Douglas

Branch of Pseudo-Sugi

When growing pseudo-suga, resistance to pests and diseases is clearly expressed. However, there are cases (with too high soil and soil moisture) when the plant trunk is affected by fungal diseases. This causes damage to the wood and weakening of the wood. Infection penetrates through the wounds on the bark of the plant, therefore, an inspection should be carried out in a timely manner and all cracks should be lubricated with garden varnish. The brown color of the needles can serve as a sign of infection; at the second stage, branches are brown, and ultimately only one crown will remain of the tree. Usually, the fight at this stage is already useless and it is recommended that the affected specimen be removed from the site and burned, replacing it with a new one.

To prevent such diseases, it is recommended to take the following measures, since not only young, but also adult Douglas fir can get sick. In the spring, as soon as sap flow begins, fungicidal preparations (for example, Fundazol) should be applied. The plant is first watered with plain water, and after an hour, a fungicidal solution is poured onto the still wet soil (40 grams of the agent dissolve in 20 liters of water).All needles are treated with such a preparation as "Champion".

If symptoms of the presence of fungal diseases are detected (mycelium, penetrating even the slightest damage to the needles or twigs, begins to live on the living tissues of the trunk or branches of the pseudo-stick), all affected parts must be immediately removed and immediately treated with copper oxychloride or other copper-containing agents. The best solution would be to carry out systematic treatments twice a year (in spring and late summer or early autumn).

Of the pests, the worst pests for Douglas are aphids, spruce hermes and spider mites, which contribute to the oppression of the plant. But aphids are also a carrier of viral diseases that cannot be treated. When small green bugs, cobwebs and similar symptoms appear on the plant, it is recommended to immediately treat with insecticidal preparations, such as Karbofos or Aktara.

Read also about possible diseases and pests when gardening astilboides

Notes to gardeners about the pseudo-life plant

Plant Pseudo-slug

It is thanks to its wood that Douglas fir has become so popular in European territories and in the North American continent. Such material is used for structural needs and buildings that must withstand high loads. It is widely used in the construction industry. Other examples include the use of dummy wood for domestic aircraft such as the RJ.03 IBIS Canard. Very often these aircraft were designed using spruce sitka, which is becoming increasingly difficult to find in aviation performance. Most Oregon pine wood currently comes from North American planted forests, which are capable of producing fast-growing wood with fewer knots. This wood is generally lighter but weaker.

Traditionally, Oregon pine has been used in the construction of masts because of its ability to withstand bending loads without breaking. This was based on the use of older native forest wood with more tree rings per inch. This type of wood is rarely available for sale, but can be obtained from wood dealers. Native Oregon pine is significantly heavier than spruce, which is about the same weight as western red cedar, but with much better bending characteristics than cedar. The oversized Douglas fir used in beams is prone to splitting when dry, like oak, but this does not compromise its strength.

Douglas fir is one of the most widely traded tree species in the United States, where it is sold alongside pine trees such as noble fir and fir. The crown of the pseudo-tree is usually cut to an almost perfect cone, and is not left to grow naturally, like noble and large spruces.

Also in their native North American territories, the Californian Indians have a myth about the outlines of the Douglas bracts. They say that its three components are the tail and two tiny legs of a mouse that hid inside the scales of the cones of a tree during forest fires, and the Oregon pine was kind enough to become its everlasting sanctuary.

Description of the types and varieties of pseudo-suga

In the photo Pseudo-sug Menzies

Pseudotsuga menziesii

also bears the name Douglas fir, Douglas fir or Pseudo-slug tissolistny… In nature, it is distributed in the western regions of the North American continent. It also forms significant forests stretching from the coastal lands of the Pacific Ocean to California. Differs in evergreen needles and powerful outlines. The specific name was given in honor of Archibald Menzies, a physician and botanist from Scotland (1754-1842). Typically, the lifespan reaches 500 years, 1000-year-old specimens are noted.

Its outlines resemble both fir and spruce. With a trunk thickness of 4 meters, it can reach a height of perceptibly a hundred meters.The crown is conical in shape, formed by raised branches when young, and horizontally growing when old. Young shoots first have an orange-red tint, after which they take on a reddish-brown color. The surface of the branches is bare. In young trees, the bark has a grayish-brown color, in old age it becomes lumpy and cut with deep wrinkles.

The color of the needles is dark bluish-green. Its outlines are straight, needle-like, flattened. The length of the needles varies within 2–3 cm with a width of 1–1.5 mm. Cones grow hanging, with an ovoid shape. The length of the cones is measured from 5 to 10 cm. The scales have bent tops, which gives them spectacular outlines. The color of the cones is yellowish brown. Ripening of seeds occurs in the year of cone formation.

To date, a large number of varieties have been bred, among which are popular:

  • Glauca Pendula characterized by a slow growth rate, frost resistance and straight branches, in which the lateral shoots have drooping ends, which is why the tree resembles a weeping willow outlines, the needles are short with a bluish tinge.
  • Blue Wonder can reach a height of 5 meters, the crown takes a conical shape, the needles are bluish.
  • Holmstrup with a high and rather dense crown, not exceeding 3–8 m, the needles grow very densely and are distinguished by an emerald or bright green hue.
  • Meyerheim the height of this tree is no more than 8 meters, the branches grow short and straight, while forming a cylindrical crown, needles of a blue color.
  • Serpentine bred by breeders from Germany and has a hanging crown, consisting of branches with curved outlines, the trunk also takes on sinuous contours.
In the photo Pseudo-suga gray

Pseudotsuga gray (Pseudotsuga menziesii var. Glauca)

recognized as a subspecies Menzies' pseudo-women… Basically, the area of ​​natural distribution falls on the mountainous territories of the western regions of North America. Able to form large-scale forests there in the Canadian Rockies (Western Canada). Growing altitude is generally 600–3000 above sea level. It is represented by a powerful tree reaching a height of 55 m, while the diameter of the trunk does not go beyond 2 meters. The outer outlines of large sizes are fir or ordinary spruce.

The crown has a conical shape. The root system is quite branched, going deep into the ground. Young branches grow upright, old ones become perpendicular to the trunk. On the surface of the bark, there are resin swellings, its color is whitish-gray. The needles are painted in a bluish-green tone. Its outlines are flat, with a blunt apex, the angle to the branch is acute. The length of the cones is 4–7 cm. The ripening of the cones occurs in the year of formation. Cones grow dangling. When the seeds ripen, the scales open and release them, but the cone itself does not disintegrate, but serves as an ornament throughout the winter. The length of the seed is 5–6 mm with a width of about 3–4 mm, the wing is measured in the range of 1, 2–1, 5 cm.

It does not differ in its exactingness to the composition of the soil, but it does not grow in a heavy and compacted substrate. Prefers a bright location, can tolerate cultivation in an urban environment satisfactorily. Has a high growth rate, perfectly tolerates transplanting, even in the form of an adult tree. Differs in drought resistance. Wood is somewhat similar to the material of larch.

In the photo, the Pseudo-leopard is large-bowed

Pseudotsuga large-bowed (Pseudotsuga macrocarpa)

acts as an endemic (that is, it is not found anywhere else in nature) of the mountains in the Californian south. The cones of this variety are the largest in size in the whole genus, which served as the specific name. The height of the tree can vary within 15–30 m, while the trunk diameter does not go beyond the range of 0.5–1.5 m. The trunk has a straight shape, the crown is conical in shape.

The root system in the ground is widespread.The bark of the trunks has deep ribs, which are formed by thin woody layers. These layers serve as separation for the thickened cork layers under the bark. If we talk about the thickness of the bark, then if the diameter of the specimen is 1 m, then these parameters can vary from 15 to 20 cm. The main branches grow long and stretching, while their lateral shoots with hanging ends.

The needles have the shape of needles, measuring 2.5–5 cm in length. The needles do not fall off the branches for a five-year period. The color of the needles is bluish-green. Female cones have larger and thicker scales than those of the Menzies pseudo-slug, their length is 10–18 cm. Bracts are characterized by three denticles and protrude well on the surface of the cone. The color of the scales is brown. The seeds are large and heavy. The seed reaches 1 cm in length and 0.8 mm in width. They are characterized by the presence of a rounded short winglet, which is 1.2 cm long.

Seeds are spread by birds or mammals, since the wings are too small to fly away caught in gusts of wind. Fruiting begins when the tree reaches 20 years of age. Growing preference should be given to humid and mild climates.

Related article: Growing Astrantia outdoors

Video about growing pseudo-sugi in a personal plot:

Photos of the pseudo-arc:

Photo Pseudootsugi 1 Photo Pseudootsugi 2 Photo Pseudootsugi 3 Photo Pseudootsugi 4 Photo Pseudootsugi 5

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