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grand fir Abies grandis

Grand fir is a fast growing, large conifer of the Pacific Northwest. Grand fir occurs on a variety of sites and provides food, nesting, and cover for many species of wildlife.

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Light
Due to grand fir's moderate shade tolerance and good competitive ability under sheltered conditions, shelterwoods are the preferred method of regeneration. Grand fir also competes moderately well in seed tree and clearcut situations.

Water
Tends to grow on moist mountain slopes and bottomlands. Tolerance of shade and understory conditions is intermediate when compared with forest companions.

Growth

Size
A large evergreen, commonly 150 to 200 feet tall and 3 to 4 feet in diameter. It develops a long narrow crown of dense foliage, often rounded or flat-topped at maturity.

Timber Value
Grand fir is commonly used for pulpwood and Christmas trees.

Wildlife Value
Ruffed and sharp-tailed grouse eat grand fir needles. Birds and rodents eat the seeds. Many species nest in snags and fallen logs.
Attracts squirrels, spotted skunks, martens, fishers, woodpeckers, owls, chickadees, bear, etc.

Insects and Diseases

Fun Facts
Seldom occurs in pure stands, but more often mixed with mid- and lower-elevation western conifers and hardwoods. Commonly a host for Indian paint fungus. Lumber used for general construction. Called "grand" by David Douglas because of its large size. On Mt. Hood, Oregon, early settlers tied ropes around grand firs to slow down and control their descent. Rope burned trees from this era are still standing. Grand fir's sweet pitch was once chewed by Native Americans.

Latin Meaning
Abies: ancient name - rising or tall tree, name for the European fir / grandis: large

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Landowner Factsheets © 2004 Virginia Tech Forestry Department, all rights reserved. Text, images, and programming by: Dr. Jeff Kirwan, Dr. John R. Seiler, John A. Peterson, Edward C. Jensen, Guy Phillips, or Andrew S. Meeks.