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white fir Abies concolor play

White fir is a potentially large western conifer capable of tolerating less than ideal growing environments. It can be found in both semi-arid, hot, low elevation sites, as well as cool and moist high elevation sites.

Click to see more images.range map wood grain

Light
White fir is shade tolerant and can be regenerated by seed-tree and shelterwood methods.

Water
White fir is found between 6,000 and 11,000 feet in the Rocky Mountains and between 3,000 and 8,000 feet in the Pacific Northwest. It occurs most abundantly on deep, rich soils but may tolerate dry, barren sites.

Growth

Size
Young trees are conical. Older trees develop a dome-like crown.

Timber Value
White fir is used for all-purpose construction grade wood, plywood, poles, piling, crates, boxes, pulp, and Christmas trees.

Wildlife Value
Small mammals and birds eat white fir seeds. Mule deer eat new growth in spring. Blue grouse also eat the needles. Porcupines eat the bark.
Attracts mice, squirrels, chipmunks, porcupines, pocket gophers, grouse, chickadees,

Insects and Diseases

Fun Facts
White fir is the most site tolerant fir, and is planted ornamentally. White fir is commonly used as a Christmas tree. The very soft-grained wood is used for pulp, and for crates and boxes. Some taxonomists separate white fir into two distinct species; A. lowiana of California and A. concolor of Oregon and the Rocky Mountains.

Latin Meaning
Abies: ancient name - rising or tall tree, name for the European fir / concolor: one color (both needle surfaces)

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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.