True Firs
Genus: Abies
Family: Pinaceae

Trees in the genus Abies are called "true firs" to distinguish them from the Douglas-fir and other trees with similar names. All of the true firs are evergreen. North America has 9 of the 40 species that occur worldwide in the Northern Hemisphere. This genus tends to be conical with more or less whorled branches. All trees in this genus have needle-like leaves and cones that stand erect on the limbs until disintegrating in late summer.


turkish fir turkish fir

Abies bornmulleriana
Turkish Fir

Occurs in a population disjunct from Nordmann fir at high elevations in northwestern Turkey.

Maps: 7


Abies concolor
White Fir


This hardy species of fir does well in hot, dry conditions. The needles are blue-green in color and longer than other North American firs. They are often upswept on the branch, resembling the ribs of a boat. This species is native to mountain slopes from Oregon to Baja, California, and east to New Mexico.

Maps: 1, 14


Abies grandis
Grand Fir


A native fir found throughout the Willamette valley and western Oregon. It only makes up a small percentage of the total forests, but it is very tolerant of shade and tends to produce the final stage of forest succession.

Maps: 7


Abies procera
Noble Fir


A somewhat fast growing evergreen native to the northwestern United States, this fir is blue-green in color and thrives in cool, damp climates. Its cones are distinctive: cylindrical, green to olive-brown, bracts longer than the cone scales. A close-up look at the needles of this tree will show white bands on both sides; this gives the Noble Fir its bluish color.

Maps: 15