|WHITE FIR CONES, UPRIGHT ON THE BRANCHES (Google photo)...|
|...WHITE FIR ABOUT 35' TALL, PERHAPS 25 YEARS OLD...|
|...SOFT, UPWARD-CURVED BLUE-GRAY NEEDLES, ABOUT 2.5" LONG|
Thursday, 9:00 AM. 34 degrees F at the ferry dock, 32 on the back porch. Wind SW, calm with occasional light to moderate gusts. The humidity is 85%, the barometer is at 30.8" and rising, predicting a week of nice weather ahead. It is quite a pleasant morning.
White fir, Abies concolor, in the Pine Family (Pinaceae), is a large climax forest tree of the forests of the mountains of the western United States. It intergrades into other species at the edges of its range, including the Giant Fir, Abies grandis, of the northern coastal rain forests. Its natural habitat is cool and damp, and it prefers moist, well-drained, acidic soils; in nature it grows at altitudes between 3,000 and 11,000 feet. The further it is planted from its ideal natural conditions the poorer it performs in the landscape. It is relatively slow growing, and is broadly conical in youth, becoming more narrowly pyramidal with age. It's wood is valuable for lumber, and it is used extensively for Christmas trees. Being a climax species, it is quite shade tolerant.
White fir trees, particularly the selections with a bluer color (like the Colorado spruce, individuals of the species range in needle color from green to blue), are quite beautiful and often used in landscaping, but they do not tolerate city conditions well and do not do well in the hotter areas of the Midwest or South. I would use white fir with caution anywhere very far out of their native range or habitat.