White Fir

(Abies concolor)

White fir has one of the largest ranges of any of the commercial western firs, from the Rocky Mountains in Colorado to the Oregon Coast Range. White fir occurs from 6,000 to 11,000 feet in elevation in the Rocky Mountains to as low as 2,300 feet near the Pacific Coast.

The white fir is a large forest tree typically 60 to 200 feet in height, and can live up to 300 years or more. Its leaves or needles are 2 to 3 inches long, silvery-blue to silvery-green. Its upright cones are 2 to 5 inches long, oblong, olive-green to purple.

Because its branches often extend to the ground, the white fir has an understory characterized by shade-tolerant shrubs and grasses. Its seed is eaten by squirrels and other rodents, and seedlings are often browsed extensively by deer. White fir makes good winter roosting trees for grouse.

White fir is found in areas characterized by a moderately humid climate with long winters with heavy snowfall. It does best in areas where precipitation is 35 to 75 inches annually.

White fir grows in soils from a wide variety of materials and is very adaptable in full sun or partial shade. As a result it can withstand climatic extremes and city stress better than other firs.

White fir is often attacked by a variety of insects and diseases. Logging of white fir has to be timed appropriately. Its wood rots easily and is susceptible to frost cracking, resulting in a loss of value.


9755 SW Barnes Rd., Suite 210        
Portland, OR 97225        
Phone: 971-673-2944        
Fax: 971-673-2946

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