A Slice of Time
A section of a Douglas-fir that began to grow in the Year 1658.
It's exhibited in Nature House at Lost Lagoon (Stanley Park Ecology Society)
Historical events in that year included
* First US Police Corps formed in New Amsterdam (New York)
* Death of Oliver Cromwell (English military and political leader and later Lord Protector of the
Commonwealth of England, Scotland and Ireland.)
This example from Stanley Park is a mere youngster! These beautiful conifers grow to be truly ancient - the oldest known specimen can be found on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, and is estimated to be between 1300 to 1400 years old (Earle 1999).
The common name Douglas-fir honors Scottish botanist David Douglas, who first introduced P. menziesii into cultivation at Scone Palace in 1827. (Our little native Douglas’s Squirrel was also named for him). The hyphen in the name indicates that Douglas-firs are not true firs, not being members of the genus Abies, although most dictionaries don't recognize this distinction - including Merriam-Webster and Webster's New World College Dictionary.
These kings of the forest grow tallest on the West Coast, with one specimen documented at 393 feet.