Arboretum: Pseudotsuga gaussenii, Chinese Douglas fir
Pseudotsuga gaussenii is a variety of the Chinese Douglas fir Pseudotsuga sinensis , and related to our native Douglas fir Pseudotsuga menziesii. Relatively rare in its native southwestern China, the tree grows in limestone soils on the slopes of hills and mountains. Although it is listed as an endangered species in China, the tree continues to be harvested for pulp as well as for timber.
Therefore we are pleased to have found a specimen recently and planted it at Haverford College between the Observatory and the Walton Road entrance to the Nature Trail.
In its native setting, Pseudotsuga gaussenii has a broad growth habit and a spreading crown as it matures, in contrast to the towering specimens of Douglas fir that grow in our coastal Northwest. Its needles are spirally arranged around the stem and the seed cone is somewhat egg-shaped ---several already cling to our young tree.