Pseudotsuga menziesii 'Fat Doug' / Fat Doug Douglas-fir

Pseudotsuga menziesii var. glauca 'Fat Doug' is an irregular globose selection of Rocky Mountain Douglas-fir with grayish Blue needles. After 10 years, a mature specimen can be expected to grow up to 18 (45 cm) inches tall and wide, a rate of growth of about 1.5 inches (3 - 4 cm) per year. Although plants have dominant terminals, this one doesn't appear to form a true leader, making it a good choice when a true shrub is desired.

This cultivar originated as a witch's broom found in Three Way, Colorado by Jerry Morris, Colorado, USA. According to Jerry's notes, the original broom was at the top of a very large tree, starting about 18 feet (6 m). The broom was 27 feet (9 m) in diameter and 25 feet (8 m) tall, very tight, and vigorous with internodes of 1 inch (2.5 cm) or less with needles of good color. Clearly it was a very old broom. When found, Jerry gave it the provisional name, Pseudotsuga menziesii [#20].

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Pseudotsuga menziesii 'Fat Doug' in a private garden in Dorset, United Kingdom.
Photo by Stephen Grubb
Pseudotsuga menziesii 'Fat Doug' — a historic photo of the original witch's broom from the Chub Harper archives.
Photo by Chub Harper courtesy of Dax Herbst

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