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Abies procera (Noble fir)
Smith, R.W.

Abies procera

Abies procera Rehder

Noble Fir

Pinaceae (Pine Family)

Synonym(s): Abies nobilis


USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

An 80-200 ft. evergreen with short branches, Noble fir has red-brown, deeply-fissured bark; blue-green needles; and purplish, oblong-cylindric cones. The straight, massive trunk may be devoid of branches for up to 100 ft. from the ground. The largest native true fir, with conical crown rounded at tip and with short, nearly horizontal branches. The crown is rounded and disproportionately small.

A handsome tree with large, showy cones mostly covered by papery bracts, Noble Fir was named by the Scottish botanical explorer David Douglas (1798-1834). It is the tallest true fir; the champion in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest in southwestern Washington is 278' (85 m) high, has a trunk circumference of 28' (8.6 m), and has a crown spread of 47' (14 m).


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Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Tree
Leaf Retention: Evergreen
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Leaf Shape: Linear
Breeding System: Flowers Unisexual , Monoecious
Fruit Type: Cone
Size Notes: Up to more than 200 feet tall.
Leaf: Dark Green

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White , Green
Bloom Time: Apr , May


Canada: BC
Native Distribution: N. CA to Chelan Co., WA
Native Habitat: Well-drained, sunny areas from 3000-5000 ft.

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Low
Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Moist
CaCO3 Tolerance: Low
Soil Description: Well-drained, mesic soils.
Conditions Comments: Slow-growing to 90 ft., noble fir adapts well to garden culture.


Description: This species is propagated from seed. In nature, Abies seeds often germinate on melting snow fields.
Seed Collection: Cone scales bear two seeds at the base. Mature seed has a large wing and is ovoid to oblong. Seeds can be damaged easily. Seeds store best in a dry, cool environment.
Seed Treatment: A 2-4 week period of cool, moist stratification improves germination.
Commercially Avail: yes

Find Seed or Plants

View propagation protocol from Native Plants Network.

National Wetland Indicator Status

Status: FACU
This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1 (Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here for map of regions.

Additional resources

USDA: Find Abies procera in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Abies procera in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Abies procera


Record Modified: 2015-11-16
Research By: NPIS

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