Noble Fir tree Identification

The Noble Fir Abies procera, a conifer native to Washington and Oregon in the USA, was introduced to Britain in 1830. It is common in large and small gardens and in a few forest plantations in the north and west. It has very large cylindrical, feathery cones. There is a ‘blue’ form that has blue-grey needles. Noble Fir tree Identification – green or blue-grey needles in 2 layers, abundant very large, cylindrical, feathery cones. 

There are about 50 species of Fir worldwide. They are often called Silver Firs. They are evergreen conifers found in upland areas of North America, Eurasia, Central America and North Africa. Silver Firs can easily be confused with Spruces and Douglas Firs but differ in the way the needles are attached to the shoot. They have cones that stand up whereas Spruces and Douglas Firs have cones that hang down.

This is the beautiful ‘glauca’ (blue grey) form of the tree. This is a young tree but it already has numerous cones.
Needles in 2 layers. Upper needles 1cm, close to the stem curve upwards. Lower needles up to 3.5cm, sweep forward then away from the stem.
Each needle has 2 white bands underneath.
The bark is silvery grey and not cracked.
Even young trees have many cones and so the cones can easily be reached, as in this close-up which shows the huge size of the upright cones in June.
Close-up of the surface of the cone showing the ‘bract scales’ sticking out.
The cones are very large and have ‘bract scales’ that stick out and give the cone a feathery appearance.
The cones break up on the tree and leave spikes that can be clearly seen in this photo.