Tall fescue is cultivated for pasture, from which it often escapes . It occurs in grazed woods , along roads, ditches , and railroad tracks, in fallow and abandoned fields, [7,33], meadows , and marshes . It is a weed of cultivated areas  and is found in moist, disturbed places [17,18,47,78].
Tall fescue is mesic in its moisture requirements. It is tolerant of poor drainage, winter flooding, and fairly high water tables. It has fair drought tolerance .
Tall fescue grows best on deep, fertile, silty to clayey loam soils but with adequate moisture it is tolerant of most soil textures . Tall fescue seeds have low establishment in crusted soils; seedlings emerge only through soft soil crusts. However, tall fescue seeds germinate well and produce good forage on high saline-sodic soils as long as soils are not crusted . Although tall fescue responds well to high fertility, it persists satisfactorily on infertile soils and in difficult environments if not overgrazed . Tall fescue is salt tolerant and does well on heavy alkaline soils [61,76.77]. It grows at a wide range of pH. In south-central Missouri tall fescue grows on silt loam with pH 5.1 to 5.5 . In western South Dakota it grows on calcareous clay with pH 7.7 . Tall fescue can withstand pH values as low as 3.6 , but pH 4.5 is considered its lower growth limit . Best growth is obtained at pH 6.2 .
Tall fescue is adapted to a wide range of climatic conditions . In the northern and mountainous West, tall fescue produces good growth in areas with over 18 inches (457 mm) mean annual precipitation; optimal growth in the East occurs in areas with over 30 inches (762 mm) mean annual precipitation. Tall fescue demonstrates good cold tolerance, making fair winter growth in southern Missouri and and the mid-South .
Tall fescue is reported at the following elevations:
California less than 8,859 less than 2,700  Colorado 4,800-8,700 1,463-2,652  Oregon 443-1,657 135- 505  Utah 4,200-6,004 1,280-1,830 [16,76]
This species is a native of C and N Asia and Europe, widely introduced as a pasture grass and naturalized in other temperate countries. The ciliate auricles are characteristic, but the hairs become worn off with age.
The earlier name Festuca elatior Linnaeus (1753) has been formally rejected.
Tall fescue occurs throughout the continental U.S. and has been reported to be invasive in natural areas in Arkansas, Georgia, Kansas, Idaho, Iowa, Louisiana, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Oregon, Tennessee, Washington, and Wisconsin.
Tall fescue is listed as a codominant in the following publication:
Plant associations within the interior valleys of the Umpqua River Basin, Oregon 
Tall fescue is found in tallgrass prairie , salt desert shrub, and sagebrush (Artemisia spp.) . It is also found in pine (Pinus spp.)-Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) forest, ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) forest, juniper (Juniperus spp.)-pinyon (Pinus spp.) woodland, mountain mahogany (Cercocarpus spp.)-oak (Quercus spp.) scrub, and saltbush (Atriplex spp.)-greasewood (Sarcobatus spp.) communities .
Comments: Kentucky fescue, or tall meadow fescue, is usually treated as Festuca arundinacea, although treated as Lolium arundinaceum by Kartesz (1999). A proposal to conserve the name Schedonorus arundinaceus would allow the same epithet to be used if this grass is classified in that genus (Soreng et al., Taxon 50: 915-917, 2001); otherwise, its name would be S. phoenix. The name Festuca elatior, sometimes considered to apply to this species, has been formally rejected nomenclaturally. LEM 16Oct01.