The Beaver State, located in the American Northwest, is home to the impressive Douglas fir, also known as the Oregon Pine. The Douglas fir can grow to be quite tall, towering somewhere between 70 and 390 feet tall, with the tallest specimens named Coast-Douglas firs for their proximity to the Pacific Ocean. The leaves are needlelike and occur individually, often distinguishing the fir from other coniferous pine species, which tend to bunch needles into groups of two to five. The Douglas fir’s cones are also distinctive, with three-pronged bracts pointing out from the otherwise typical scaled-cone. Although the Douglas fir is a sturdy choice for the Oregon yard, Oregon planters have several options when considering tree specimens.
Due to its proximity to the Pacific Ocean, diverse elevations, and varied temperatures, the smart Oregonian grower will need to consider the following:
- Soil Type
- Average Precipitation
- Growing Zones
- Weather Damage
Best Trees for Oregon
Read about the specifics for your state in the following sections. If you’re looking for some quick ideas on what to plant, consider the following trees as expert-tested and The Tree Center approved:
- Muskogee Crape
Ideal for mildew resistance, fragrant lavender blooms, and fast-growing height.
- Autumn Purple Ash
Ideal for providing unique fall colors, shade, climate tolerance.
- Everbearing Strawberry
Ideal for bearing fruit, providing color, and delicious, edible profits.
- Tulip Poplar
Ideal for providing fast-growing shade, year-round beauty, and drought resistance.
Fast Growing Privacy Trees in Oregon
A state that without doubt deserves its millions of residents, Oregon is continuing to attract new inhabitants from other parts of the United States. Although a boon for the local economy, new infrastructure can be invasive and annoying. Solutions exist for prying eyes and sound-producing highways. Trees that are cultivated to form protective barriers, better known as ‘privacy trees’ can be planted to afford the Oregon yard the solitude and peace it deserves.
Although there are many privacy trees the Oregon planter may plant, none is as fitting as the Willow Hybrid. The Willow Hybrid grow quickly, at upwards of 6 feet a year, and provides fast-growing privacy. Unlike many privacy tree species, the Willow Hybrid is not an evergreen but a subset of the willow, providing a unique barrier against intrusions of every kind. The Willow Hybrid is not the only option to choose from in Oregon. Alternatively, consider the Thuja Green Giant or Juniper ‘Witchita Blue’.
Much of Oregon is affected by its proximity to the Pacific Ocean, producing milder winters than comparable latitudes’ geographical locations. The state is also home to several different climates, with western coast settling into an Oceanic climate and the eastern region experiencing a semi-arid climate. The Cascade Mountains diminish moisture-laden air pressure systems from traveling too far inland. Due to the differing climates, Oregon experiences a wide range of temperatures. The record high is 119°F and the record low -54F, though temperatures are generally milder. The desert regions in the east are hot and dry, and temperatures can linger in the 90s. Most of the state’s population lives in the wetter, milder west, along the coast. Here temperatures rarely rise above 80°F.
Most trees require well-drained soil rich with minerals to grow. Jory soil covers more than 300,000 of Oregon’s acres, distributed throughout the Willamette Valley. Rich, well-draining soil, Jory soils are best for trees, berries, hazelnuts, corn, and grass seeds. Regardless of the property’s location in The Beaver State, a soon-to-be tree planter can perform a simple test to determine his/her soil type.
The Squeeze test is aptly named because it requires only a small handful of dirt from just beneath the ground’s surface, and your hands. The soil should be moist, but not drenched. The tester simply squeezes the soil and observes one of the three following events.
1. The soil will hold its shape. If you touch the soil, it will maintain its original shape. You have CLAY.
2. The soil will hold its shape. If you touch the soil, it will collapse. You have LOAM.
3. The soil will fall apart as you open your hands. You have SAND.
Once you know what soil type you have, you can find trees best suited to the dirt’s properties. Loam is the best soil to have, as its unique qualities make it ideal for holding and transferring water to trees.
Rainfall is plentiful, but inconsistent in Oregon. This is due in large part to the varying effects of the Pacific Ocean and Cascade Mountains. Average annual precipitation totals 35.98 inches, though most of this falls in the highly populated western regions. Winter and fall are the most heavily precipitating seasons, totaling between 3 and 5 inches a month. In the summer, rain is scarcer, with average monthly totals often less than 1 inch in both July and August. Snow is common in the eastern regions of Oregon, and infrequent in the populated western regions, where mild temperatures often cause the snow to fall as rain even in January and February. On average, the state receives 4 inches of snow a year.
With moderate rainfall totals and dense eastern populations, irrigation is an essential tool for managing diverse water needs across the state. If considering a new tree, planters should also consider irrigation systems. Newly planted trees have a strong need for consistent and controlled water access. Drip or sprinkler irrigation systems can be essential to supporting gardens and tree plantings. Investigate the property for either natural or manmade systems, and if none exist, install one to ensure successful plant growth.
With such a large area and diverse climate systems, it is unsurprising Oregon is home to twelve unique growing zones. A growing zone simply refers to the USDA’s determination of areas where certain plants are most likely to thrive, preferring to focus on minimal temperature ranges in which a plant can survive. The western coastal region of the state is warmer, and west of the Cascade Mountains, temperatures do not drop below 10°F for extended periods. Some coastal regions along the south will never see extended periods below 25°F or 30°F. The zones drop temperatures quickly moving eastward, with higher elevations experiencing cooler zone ranges. In the highest elevations, temperatures may drop below -30°F for extended periods, those most of the mountains experience regular low temperatures between -10°F and -20°F.
Weather damage is minor in Oregon, with occasional summer wildfires occurring. Heavy snow can cover the Cascade Mountains in winter, though typically the snow is minimal in heavily populated areas. Trees provide protection from possible flooding and improve air quality, and simply be sure to plant new growth away from power lines.