Noble Fir

Top of a Noble Fir at Sherrard Point, Palmer, Multnomah Co., Oregon 
Reference: “File:Abies Procera Top Sherrard Point.Jpg.” Encyclopedia of Life, http://eol.org/data_objects/27744884. Accessed 20 Oct. 2018.

Latin (group) name: Abies
Latin (specific) name: Abies Procera Rehder
Average max height: 100' to 250'
Average diameter: 2' to 6'
Associated state: none
Category: American Woods
The Softwoods - Conifers

The Tree

In the deep forests, Noble Fir is a magnificent, majestic and symmetrically formed “tree fir” having a straight clear trunk frequently for 100 feet or more. It towers to a height of from 150 to 200 or more feet, and has a trunk diameter of two to five feet. Trees 250 feet tall and more than six feet in diameter have been found. The branches are short, rigid, and stand out almost at right angles to the trunk except for the lower limbs which have a tendency to droop somewhat. The well-formed crown is rounded and narrow. The needles, growing thick on the twig and curving upward, are a pale to dark bluish-green with a silvery tinge, are one-half to one inch long, grooved on the upper surface and usually
sharp pointed. The needles particularly distinguish this tree from all other firs. The large oblong and resin-coated cones, too, are distinctive. They are light yellowsih-green; are four and one-half to six inches long with blunt ends, and stand erect on the twig. The cone scales protrude somewhat, overlap shingle fashion and have large sharply pointed bracts. When mature, the cones turn a light yellowish-brown color. In the early lumbering days Noble Fir was erroneously called Larch or sometimes Red Fir. The tree, however, does not in the least resemble Western Larch either in appearance or properties of the wood.

noble fir cones
Noble Fir cones
noble fir tree bark
Noble Fir tree bark
noble fir foliage
Noble Fir foliage

Common Names in Use

  • Noble Fir (Oreg., and trade)
  • Bigtree
  • Feather-cone Red Fir (Calif., lit.)
  • “Larch” (Oreg. Lumbermen)
  • Noble or Bracted Red Fir (Calif., lit)
  • Red Fir (Oreg.)
  • Tuck Tuck (Pacific Indians
    three chinook men
    Three Chinook Men by George Catlin
    The indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest Coast are composed of many nations and tribal affiliations, each with distinctive cultural and political identities, but they share certain beliefs, traditions and practices, such as the centrality of salmon as a resource and spiritual symbol. The term Northwest Coast or North West Coast is used in anthropology to refer to the groups of Indigenous people residing along the coast of British Columbia, Washington state, parts of Alaska, Oregon, and northern California. The term Pacific Northwest is largely used in the American context.

Growth Range

The natural growth range of Noble Fir extends from the southern border of British Columbia through western Washington, Oregon to the northwest corner of California, growing chiefly on the west slope of the Cascade Range and sparsely 0n the coastal ranges.

The Wood

The wood of Noble Fir is the heaviest of all fir species. It is firm, moderately hard, strong, has a fine, straight grain, and is a very light-tan color frequently marked with reddish-brown streaks which add greatly to the beauty of the wood. A high grade of lumber which is easily worked and takes a good polish is produced from the wood. Contrary to most woods, the sapwood is somewhat darker than the heartwood.


Lumber from the Noble Fir is used for planing mill products, Venetian blinds, interior finish, siding, sash, doors, boats, boxes and ladder rails. A good quality of paper pulp suitable for high grade Kraft paper is also produced.


  • Shelley E. Schoonover (American Woods) 1951 (Watling & Co. ) Santa Monica, CA 

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Page last modified on Sunday July 24, 2022 17:09:29 PDT by admin.