Meet the 2020 Great American Tree: Douglas Fir, Washington State

We’re proud to announce the winner of the Great American Tree Competition is a Douglas fir tree in Washington State, nominated by conservationist Darvel Lloyd. You can see the winning tree here. When he submitted his nomination, Darvel wrote:

“This is one of the largest Douglas firs (Pseudotsuga menziesii) in Washington State. It is located deep within the Gifford Pinchot National Forest, west of Mount Adams.

My twin brother (age 77) is standing next to the base. The giant tree has a circumference at breast height (CBH) of 34.6 ft and is about 280 ft tall. We estimate its age at about 500 years. My image was taken on June 3, 2020.”

Darvel and his twin brother Darryl are the founders of the group Friends of Mount Adams, which focuses “on the enormous, 230-square-mile mountain located in south-central Washington state, which lies mostly on Gifford Pinchot National Forest and Yakama Nation lands.”  Read more here.

Congratulations to Darvel, Friends of Mount Adams, and the Gifford Pinchot National Forest!

What is the Douglas Fir?
The Douglas fir tree is a hardy evergreen tree that grows naturally in parts of California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Utah, Wyoming, and other Western states. They can grow to more than 300 feet tall and different varieties of the tree have adapted to grow in wet, dry, and cold climates. Douglas fir trees are popular for woodworking due to their hard-wearing wood, but some are also commonly used for decorative purposes in public parks. Douglas fir are even cultivated for use as Christmas trees.

Where is the Gifford Pinchot National Forest?
The Gifford Pinchot National Forest encompasses more than 1 million acres of protected land in the Cascade Mountains in Washington state, including major mountain peaks such as Mount Adams and Mount St. Helens. Originally land used by the Yakama Nation, the area officially became a national forest in 1949, named after Gifford Pinchot, the first director of the U.S. Forest Service.

About the Great American Tree Competition
Each year, we receive nominations from around the country for the Great American Tree Competition, which celebrates remarkable trees nationwide. Many of these submissions come from communities showcasing beloved local trees, community forests, and urban treescapes, while others highlight historic or notable trees near them. Trees don’t need to be famous to enter this competition—in fact, most aren’t! Submissions typically represent favorite foliage from backyards, local forests, and busy boulevards.

The winner of the competition receives a framed poster of the winning tree plus a feature on The American Grove homepage.

Past Winners
Want to see which trees took home the honor in previous years? You can see all the past winners—and this year’s runners-up—by visiting our Great American Tree page.

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