noble fir Pinaceae Abies
procera Rehder symbol: ABPR
Leaf: Flattened needles, about 1 inch long, linear, and 4-angled in cross-section with a groove on top along the midrib; bluish white bloom on all surfaces; base curves, making the needle resemble a hockey stick; tips mostly rounded but may be pointed on cone bearing branches; spirally arranged but usually upswept.
Flower: Species is monoecious; male cones reddish and borne beneath the leaves; female cones erect, covered by long, pointed bracts, and borne near the top of the crown.
Fruit: Cones are 4 to 6 inches long, cylindrical, and borne upright on the twig; cone scales are deciduous, falling from the cone as seeds ripen; olive-brown when mature; bracts are longer than scales and turn down, almost covering the entire scale (as opposed to California red fir).
Twig: Moderately stout, reddish brown, and covered with round, flat leaf scars when needles fall; buds small, rounded, brown and mostly non-resinous, often surrounded by needles; terminal buds usually occur in clusters of three or more.
Bark: Initially gray-green and blistered, later becoming purplish gray to reddish brown with narrow ridges that are broken into rectangular blocks, somewhat scaly.
Form: Noble fir is a large evergreen 140 to 200 feet tall and 3 to 5 feet in diameter with a crown that is conical in young trees, but rounded when mature.
Looks like: California red fir - white fir - subalpine fir - Pacific silver fir
Additional Range Information: Abies procera is native to North America. Range may be expanded by planting. See states reporting noble fir.
External Links: USDAFS Silvics of North America - USDAFS Additional Silvics - USDA Plants Database - USDAFS Forest Products Lab
All material © 2018 Virginia Tech Dept. of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation; Photos and text by: John Seiler, Edward Jensen, Alex Niemiera, and John Peterson; Silvics reprinted from Ag Handbook 654