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Abies amabilis is often confused with:
Abies grandis Young tree form
Plants that fill a similar niche:
Taxus baccata
Cupressus sempervirens Cupressus sempervirens
Tilia americana Tilia americana

White fir Abies amabilis

Other plants called White fir:

Phonetic Spelling
AY-beez ah-MAH-bil-iss
Description

Pacific silver fir is a needled evergreen tree native from Alaska down to northern California in the Pinaceae (pine) family. It can grow up to 260 feet tall in its native habitat. . It requires cool, humid summers to thrive and so has a limited area for use. The species name "amabilis" is Latin for "lovely."

Pacific silver does well in full sun but is also more shade tolerant than other firs. The needles have 2 stomal bands underneath with the needles growing to the sides and top of the shoot but not the underneath and they all lean forward towards the tip.

This tree is sometimes used as a Christmas tree or for Christmas decorations. It is sometimes used as an ornamental in large parks within its growing range. The wood is weak and so is mainly used for paper production.

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems: Annosus root disease can be a problem esp for older trees. Weakened trees are then susceptible to fir-engraver beetle (Scolylus ventralis), silver fir beetle (Pseudohylesinus sericeus), or fir root bark beetle (Pseudohylesinus granulalus).

VIDEO created by Ryan Contreras for “Landscape Plant Materials I:  Deciduous Hardwoods and Conifers or Landscape Plant Materials II:  Spring Flowering Trees and Shrubs” a plant identification course offered by the Department of Horticulture at Oregon State University

 

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Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#fragrant#conifer#mountains#evergreen tree#partial shade tolerant#cool summers#landscape plant sleuths course
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#fragrant#conifer#mountains#evergreen tree#partial shade tolerant#cool summers#landscape plant sleuths course
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Abies
    Species:
    amabilis
    Family:
    Pinaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    The pitch was chewed as gum by native peoples, the boughs were preferred for bedding or floor coverings, and the soft, brittle wood was chiefly used as firewood. The wood today is mostly used for making paper or cheap construction as crates.
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Western coast of North America
    Distribution:
    AL, CA, OR, WA and parts of Canada
    Wildlife Value:
    Firs are useful to many animals for cover and nesting sites. Grouse eat the needles. Deer and elk eat the foliage and twigs in the winter. Birds, chipmunks and squirrels eat the seeds.
    Play Value:
    Wildlife Cover/Habitat
    Wildlife Food Source
    Dimensions:
    Height: 98 ft. 0 in. - 260 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 20 ft. 0 in. - 30 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Tree
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Needled Evergreen
    Habit/Form:
    Conical
    Erect
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Dappled Sunlight (Shade through upper canopy all day)
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Loam (Silt)
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Available Space To Plant:
    12-24 feet
    24-60 feet
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    5b, 5a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Gray/Silver
    Purple/Lavender
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Fruit Length:
    > 3 inches
    Fruit Width:
    1-3 inches
    Fruit Description:
    Oval seed cones are resinous, purple-grey aging to brown. They grow upright on the tree. They disintegrate with age to release winged seeds. They are 3.5 to 6.5 inches long.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Description:
    No flowers
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Needled Evergreen
    Leaf Color:
    Gray/Silver
    Green
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Leaf Type:
    Needles
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Whorled
    Leaf Shape:
    Linear
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Width:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Description:
    Needles are flat, 0.8-1.8 inches long, dark green on top with 2 white/silver stromal bands on the underside and notched at the tip. The needles densely packed, are twisted at the base so that they lie flat to the sides and on top of the shoot but not on the bottom. They all are brushed forward on the shoot
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Dark Brown
    Light Gray
    Red/Burgundy
    Surface/Attachment:
    Furrowed
    Scaly
    Bark Description:
    Bark light grey and smooth but for resin blisters on young trees. As the tree ages the bark becomes reddish-grey with scales and furrows mostly at the base
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Gray/Silver
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Bud Scales:
    No scales, covered in hair
    Stem Surface:
    Hairy (pubescent)
    Stem Description:
    Twigs mostly opposite, darker brown abaxially, light brown adaxially with tan to reddish hairs. Branches are gray or yellowish-brown in color when young.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Naturalized Area
    Design Feature:
    Accent
    Mass Planting
    Attracts:
    Small Mammals
    Songbirds