Best in moist, neutral to acidic soil in full sun. Does not like hot, dry sites, prefers a cooler climate.
Douglas-firs are medium-size to extremely large evergreen trees, 20–100 metres (70–330 ft) tall (although only coast Douglas-firs reach such great heights). The leaves are flat, soft, linear, 2–4 centimetres (3⁄4–1 1⁄2 in) long, generally resembling those of the firs, occurring singly rather than in fascicles; they completely encircle the branches, which can be useful in recognizing the species. As the trees grow taller in denser forest, they lose their lower branches, such that the foliage may start high off the ground. Douglas-firs in environments with more light may have branches much closer to the ground. The species has ornamental value in large parks and gardens.