Grand Fir

Grand Fir

Mature Abies grandis and Picea breweriana in the Siskiyou Mountains, extreme N California
Reference: Abies Grandis (Grand Fir) Description. https://www.conifers.org/pi/Abies_grandis.php. Accessed 14 Oct. 2018.


Latin (group) name: Abies
Latin (specific) name: Abies Grandis (Douglas) Lindley
Average max height: 80' to 250'
Average diameter: 1.5' to 4'
Associated state: none
Category: American Woods
The Softwoods - Conifers

Growth Range Map


The Tree

The Grand Fir is a stately tree 80 to 125 feet high and one and one half to two and one-half feet in diameter. On rich bottom lands it may reach 200 to 250 feet in height and three to four feet in diameter. It is a remarkably straight tree, tapering very gradually to a narrow rounded crown. The branches tend downward with tips pointed upward. The bark, which on mature trees is deeply and narrowly furrowed, is an ashy brown color with splashes of gray-white. It is very hard, close, horny and from one to one and three-quarters inches thick. The tree’s foliage is shiny, deep yellow-green on the upper surface and conspicuously white on the under side. The cylindrical cones are two and one-half to four and one-quarter inches long and one to one and one-half inches in diameter, and a clear, light-yellow-green color. It is commonly called White Fir because of the conspicuously whitish, smooth bark on the younger trees, but it should not be confused with the true White Fir, Abies Concolor.

grand fir cones
Grand Fir cones
grand fir tree bark
Grand Fir tree bark

Common Names in Use

  • Grand Fir (lit.)
  • Balsam Fir (Oreg., trade)
  • Giant Fir (Eu. lit.)
  • Great Silver Fir (Idaho, Mont.)
  • Grand or Oregon White Fir (Calif., lit.)
  • Great California Fir (lit.)
  • Lowland Fir (lit.)
  • Lowland White Fir (trade)
  • Puget Sound Fir (Eng., lit.)
  • Oregon White Fir (Calif.)
  • Rough-barked Fir (Wash.)
  • Silver Fir (Wash., Mont., Idaho)
  • White Fir (Calif., Oreg., Wash., Idaho, Mont., and trade)
  • Western White Fir
  • Yellow Fir (Mont., Idaho)

Growth Range

The growth range of Grand Fir extends along the Pacific Coast region from Vancouver Island to Sonoma County, California, and eastward through Washington, Oregon, western Montana and northern Idaho, from sea level to an elevation of 7,000 feet.

The Wood

The wood of Grand Fir is light in weight, soft but firm, free from pitch, moderately straight and coarse-grained.The heartwood varies in color from pale yellowish brown or white with a brownish tinge to pale brown. The sapwood is not easily distinguished from the heartwood. It is not difficult to work with tools, holds nails and screws fairly well, glues well but takes and holds paint rather poorly.


Grand Fir has the same uses as White Fir, and the two are usually marketed together. The principal use is for paper pulp, but increasing amounts are used for lumber for building construction, subflooring, sheathing, boxes and crates, planing mill products, sash, doors, frames and general millwork. Because of the nearly White color of the wood, lack of odor, and freedom from stain or pitch, this wood is desirable for containers of all kinds.

grand fir turned bowl
Grand Fir turned bowl

File References

  ID T Name Size Last modified Actions
215 Abies Grandis (Douglas) Lindley
Mature Abies grandis and Picea breweriana in the Siskiyou Mountains, extreme N California
Reference: Abies Grandis (Grand Fir) Description. https://www.conifers.org/pi/Abies_grandis.php. Accessed 14 Oct. 2018.
135.14 KB 10-14-2018
217 Grand Fir Tree Bark
Grand fir grows in the Pacific Northwest and California while the Balsam fir inhabits Northeastern United States, image is Grand Fir tree bark.
Reference: Grand Fir | Coniferous Forest. https://www.coniferousforest.com/grand-fir.htm. Accessed 14 Oct. 2018.
256.12 KB 10-14-2018
218 Grand Fir Cones
Immature Grand Fir cones - Mission Ridge, Washington
Reference: “Grand Fir - Abies Grandis.” The Trees of North America: Across the Continent With a Camera, http://northamericantrees.com/abies-grandis.html. Accessed 14 Oct. 2018.
215.38 KB 10-14-2018
219 Grand Fir Bowl
Grand Fir bowl by Makepeace
Reference: demakepeace. “Grand Fir Bowl.” Makepeacemadepieces, 28 Feb. 2013, https://makepeacemadepieces.wordpress.com/2013/02/28/grand-fir-bowl/.
100.54 KB 10-14-2018


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

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Page last modified on Tuesday January 14, 2020 20:23:43 PST by admin.