CHRISTMAS TREE: THE DOUGLAS FIR
The fraser fir is named for the Scottish explorer and botanist, David Douglas, (1750-1811). He first discovered the tree in California in 1831. It is, indeed, not a fir. It belongs to a completely different genus, unknown to Europeans at the time. It's sceintific name is: Pseudotsuga and even that is wrong, as it is not a pseudo suga, where suga is a Hemlock. All the mis-naming aside, the tree has become to be called the Douglas Fir. There are, in fact, two distinct varieties: Coastal Douglas Fir and Rocking Mountain Douglas Fir. The Coastal Douglas Fir grows along the western-most portions of North America, from British Columbia to Mexico seen below.
The Rocking Mountain Douglas Fir grows principally along the Rocky Mountains, and heavily in the state of Utah:
It's characteristics are ideally suited to Christmas tree decorating:
Here are 2 pictures of the Douglas Fir. The photo on the left is a farm raised Coastal Douglas Fir tree. The photo on the right is a naturally occuring Rocky Mountain Douglas Fir forest.
The natural maximum height range of this tree is 200-250+ feet, making it the second tallest tree in the world, next only to the Redwoods. Douglas Firs have been dated to 480 years old. Here's a close up of the frond: