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.
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.