Noble fir is the largest of the firs in terms of height, diameter and wood mass and perhaps that is why it earned its common name. Native to the mountains of Washington, Oregon and northern, California it thrives is moist soils and full sun. Trees can live 600 years and grow up to 250 feet tall, but most are 50-75 feet tall. When young they have a conical crown but as they mature they develop a rounded crown and lose their lower branches. The stiff needles are 1-1.5” long, erect, bluish green with a white tinge, and are densely packed the top of the branches. Male and female cones are produced on the same tree and are not ornamentally significant; seed cones are purple, barrel shaped and 4.5-7” long. The bark becomes red-brown as it ages and develops vertical furrows and long irregular plates. Noble fir is a popular Christmas tree in the Northwest and its stem tips are valued for holiday arrangements.
Type: Evergreen tree
Outstanding Features: Shape; dense needles
Growth Rate: Slow to medium
Bloom: Male and female cones on the same tree; large, purple, barrel-shaped seed bearing cones 4.5-7” long
Size: 50-250’ H
Light: Full sun
Soil: Average, moist, well drained, acidic, cool
Hardiness: Zones 5-6
Pests and Diseases: None of significance
Propagation: Seed (with no stratification needed)
Comments: Needs protection from wind and deer.
‘Sherwoodii’ (aka ‘Aurea’; golden yellow outer needles; often prostrate)
‘Glauca’ ( exceptional blue color; abundant cones)
‘Glauca Prostrata’ (good blue color; prostrate)