From British Columbia and southwest Alberta southward through Montana and Idaho to northern California (Stickney, 1974). Sub-continental to continental cool temperate and cool semi-arid climates. Occurrence increases with increasing temperatures and decreases with increasing elevation. Scattered occurrence in open-canopied Douglas-fir forests, but most common on water-shedding sites (Klinka et al., 1989). Habitat varies from open forests and forest edges to open brushy communities at low to middle elevations (Pojar and MacKinnon, 1994). Normally scattered at low densities but sometimes occurs in dense, localized stands (Carey, 1995).
Organic soils on forest sites; rocky soils on brushy, dry sites (Pojat and MacKinnon, 1994).
Nitrogen-medium soils (Klinka et al., 1989).
pH 4.1 to neutral (Klinka et al., 1989).
Moderately dry to moist (Pojar and MacKinnon, 1994).
Sun loving to moderately shade tolerant (Klinka et al., 1989).
Early to mid-seral species. Often present in seral shrub communities following logging and burning. Top may be killed by fire but the root crown usually survives and produces sprouts (Carey, 1995).
Characteristic of the Garry oak-Douglas-fir community. Associated with indicator plants such as dull Oregon grape and ocean spray (Klinka et al., 1989).