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ABIES grandis

Image of Abies grandis

Family

Pinaceae

Botanical Name

ABIES grandis

Plant Common Name

Giant Fir, Grand Fir

Special Notice

This entry has yet to be reviewed and approved by L2G editors.

General Description

This species is appropriately called the giant or grand fir because it's one of the tallest growing firs in the world, usually in the 200- to 300-foot (70 to 100 m) range. This evergreen is very fast growing, attaining a narrow column-like or spire-like silhouette with massive trunk. Native to the central Pacific coast of North America, the giant fir grows in British Columbia inland to the Idaho-Montana mountains and southward to northern California, where it's known along the coast. Some botanists find distinct physical variations among trees that grow east and west of the Cascade Mountains.

The bark is smooth and gray, but cracks into square plates on the oldest trees. Needles are soft, shiny and dark green with white bands on the undersides. The needles resemble the teeth of a two-sided comb. The cylindrical, pendent female cones are green but ripen to brown, usually with whitish globs of resin.

Grand fir is one of the more shade tolerant fir species, but looks fuller and more robust when grown in full sun. Plant it in a moist, acidic soil that's deep and rich in organic matter for best performance. Although grand fir matures to smaller heights in cultivation compared to a dense forest habitat, it's still too large for the vast majority of garden settings. Conserve trees that may already exist on a property, cutting off lowest limbs as needed for vehicular clearance or overall safety. Cultivar 'Johnsonii' matures only a third as tall as the wild form, making it a better choice for a garden.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    6 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    5 - 7

  • Sunset Zone

    1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 14, 15, 16, 17

  • Plant Type

    Needled or Scaled Evergreen

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun, Partial Shade

  • Height

    80'-300' / 24.4m - 91.4m

  • Width

    15'-25' / 4.6m - 7.6m

  • Native To

    Northwestern United States, Canada

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam

  • Growth Rate

    Very Fast

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Upright/Erect

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    None

  • Fruit Color

    Brown, Sandy Brown

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Dark Green

  • Bark Color

    Sandy Brown, Gray

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    Yes

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    Yes

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Fine

  • Foliage Sheen

    Glossy

  • Evergreen

    Yes

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Bark Texture

    Platy

  • Usage

    Feature Plant

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    No