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:: Home > The Forest > Reproduction Methods > Clearcutting > Hot Topic: Clearcuts & Wildlife > Why Douglas Fir?

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Why Douglas-fir?

There are a lot of reasons why foresters manage Douglas-fir forests the way they do, and why clearcutting remains an important tool. To understand clearcutting, it’s necessary to understand some things about the biology of Douglas-fir.

Oregon's forests are some of the best places on earth to grow high quality wood products. One reason is Douglas-fir. It's the source of the strongest softwood in the world, and used in hundreds of products from two-by-fours to paper towels. So it's not surprising that society places a high demand on Douglas-fir products, and counts on our forest lands to supply a high yield of this valuable material.

Douglas-fir accounts for nearly three fourths of the natural forest cover in western Oregon. Forest surveys from around 1900 show that it was dominant back then, too. The reason has a lot to do with fire and the biology of Douglas-fir. And an ever-increasing understanding the biology Douglas-fir allows foresters to provide not only the products society demands, but also the habitat wildlife needs to thrive.

A Highly Prized Tree...

Douglas-fir is understandably Oregon’s primary commercial forest species and is in great demand by consumers. It’s the source of the world’s strongest softwood, and Douglas-fir trees grow straight and tall enough to make lumber of all sizes,from two-by-fours to utility poles...

and …plywood..paper products…and thousands of other products like glue, and photographic supplies.

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