Abies Procera (Noble Fir)

 

Botanical Name : Abies procera
Family : Family Pinaceae
Synonyms: Abies nobilis – (Douglas. Ex D.Don.)Lindl., Pinus nobilis – D.Don.
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Pinophyta
Class: Pinopsida
Order: Pinales
Species: A. procera
Genus: Abies
Synonyms : Abies nobilis. Pinus nobilis.

Common Names: Noble Fir,  Red fir, Christmastree

Habitat:–     Native to the Cascade Range and Coast Range mountains of extreme northwest California and western Oregon and Washington in the United States.   Western N. America – Washington to N. California. Self-sows in Britain – in Scotland.  Deep forests at elevations between 600 – 1500 metres. The best specimens are found in deep rich soils with a short cool growing season and abundant annual precipitation, mainly as snow.

Description:
A Perennial  evergreen Tree growing to 60m by 5m at a medium rate.
It is hardy to zone 5. It is in leaf all year, and the seeds ripen in September. The flowers are monoecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but both sexes can be found on the same plant) and are pollinated by Wind.

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It is a large evergreen tree typically up to 40-70 m (130-230 ft.) tall and 2 m (6.5 ft.) trunk diameter, rarely to 90 m (295 ft.) tall and 2.7 m (8.9 ft.) diameter[1], with a narrow conic crown. The bark on young trees is smooth, grey, and with resin blisters, becoming red-brown, rough and fissured on old trees. The leaves are needle-like, 1-3.5 cm long, glaucous blue-green above and below with strong stomatal bands, and a blunt to notched tip. They are arranged spirally on the shoot, but twisted slightly s-shaped to be upcurved above the shoot. The cones are erect, 11-22 cm long, with the purple scales almost completely hidden by the long exserted yellow-green bract scales; ripening brown and disintegrating to release the winged seeds in fall.

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Cultivation:-
Prefers a good moist but not water-logged soil. Succeeds in cold exposed positions and in poor mountain peats. Succeeds in poor thin soils so long as sufficient moisture is present. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Plants are very shade tolerant, especially when young, but they grow more slowly in dense shade. Intolerant of atmospheric pollution. Prefers slightly acid conditions with a pH down to about 5. Grows well on a north-facing slope. A long-lived tree in the wild, with specimens more than 600 years old recorded. It is a very ornamental tree, but is very susceptible to damage by aphis in some areas of the country. Planted for timber in W. and N. Europe, in Britain it grows best in wetter parts of the country such as the Perthshire valleys of Scotland[. Trees do not grow well in the drier areas of Britain. In a suitable site it can make new growth of 1 metre a year until it is 25 metres tall when growth slows. Exposure seems to severely limit growth in height in southern and eastern regions but less so in areas of high rainfall such as N. Wales and Argyll. New growth takes place from early June to August. Trees should be planted into their permanent positions when they are quite small, between 30 and 90cm in height. Larger trees will check badly and hardly put on any growth for several years. This also badly affects root development and wind resistance. Trees are sometimes used as ‘Christmas trees‘. Plants are strongly outbreeding, self-fertilized seed usually grows poorly. They hybridize freely with other members of this genus.

Propagation:-
Seed – sow early February in a greenhouse or outdoors in March. Germination is often poor, usually taking about 6 – 8 weeks. Stratification is said to produce a more even germination so it is probably best to sow the seed in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe in the autumn. The seed remains viable for up to 5 years if it is well stored. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on for at least their first winter in pots. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Alternatively, if you have sufficient seed, it is possible to sow in an outdoor seedbed. One report says that it is best to grow the seedlings on in the shade at a density of about 550 plants per square metre whilst another report says that they are best grown on in a sunny position

Medicinal Actions & Uses

Pectoral.…..A decoction of the leaves has been used as a cough medicine.

Disclaimer:The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Other Uses:-
Noble Fir is a popular Christmas tree. Wood – light, hard, strong, close grained, works easily. Used for lumber, interior work, pulp etc. It is used for general structural purposes and paper manufacture.
Resources:
http://www.pfaf.org/database/plants.php?Abies+procera
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=ABPR&photoID=abpr_010_ahp.tif
http://www.biolib.cz/en/taxonimage/id22221/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abies_procera

 

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