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A close up of noble fir cone and branches.

Noble fir cone and branches - licensed under Creative Commons Wikicommons/MPF

Introduced into Britain in 1830, the noble fir - or Abies procera - is a native of the forests of Washington and Oregon where it grows to a great height. Just like the Douglas fir, this species was introduced by David Douglas.

Regarded as a decorative species on account of its striking blue-grey foliage and steady growth, it is often used in Europe for making wreaths. In Denmark it's often the preferred species for Christmas trees.

Botanical drawings of noble fir

Facts and stats

  • Height: This handsome conifer can reach 45 metres in height.
  • Leaves: It has long (25 mm) upswept bluish-grey needles at right angles to the twig.
  • Seeds: Its seeds are large upright cones with downturned feathery bracts.
  • Bark: The noble fir has pale grey to purplish, smooth bark.
  • Native to: Western North America.
  • Uses: The noble fir has been planted on a very limited scale in wetter, western parts of Britain. Its timber is hard and close-grained and often used for interior joinery.

Famous noble firs in Scotland

Diana's Grove noble fir

Head to Diana’s Grove in the grounds of Blair Castle in Perthshire, for a stunning example of this species. Nestled amongst the many other conifers stands an impressive 50 metre tall noble fir that measures almost four metres across its base.