Introduced into Britain in 1830, 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 also introduced by David Douglas.
Regarded as a decorative species on account of its striking blue-grey foliage and regular growth habit, it is often used in Europe for making wreaths. In Denmark it is also the preferred type of Christmas tree.
Facts about the noble fir
Uses: In Britain the noble fir has been planted on a very limited scale in the wetter western districts. Its timber is hard and close-grained and often used for interior joinery.
Seeds: Its seeds are large upright cones with downturned feathery bracts.
Leaves: It has long (25 mm) upswept bluish-grey needles at right angles to the twig.
Bark: The noble fir has pale grey to purplish, smooth bark.
Height: This handsome conifer can reach 45 metres in height.
Natural range: western North America, California, western Oregon and Washington USA
A noble fir of note
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 and impressive 50 metre tall specimen, with a girth of almost 4 metres.