Home      Discussion      Topics      Dictionary      Almanac
Signup       Login
Red Fir

Red Fir

Discussion
Ask a question about 'Red Fir'
Start a new discussion about 'Red Fir'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Encyclopedia
Abies magnifica, the Red Fir or Silvertip fir, is a western North America
North America
North America is a continent wholly within the Northern Hemisphere and almost wholly within the Western Hemisphere. It is also considered a northern subcontinent of the Americas...

n fir
Fir
Firs are a genus of 48–55 species of evergreen conifers in the family Pinaceae. They are found through much of North and Central America, Europe, Asia, and North Africa, occurring in mountains over most of the range...

, native to the mountain
Mountain
Image:Himalaya_annotated.jpg|thumb|right|The Himalayan mountain range with Mount Everestrect 58 14 160 49 Chomo Lonzorect 200 28 335 52 Makalurect 378 24 566 45 Mount Everestrect 188 581 920 656 Tibetan Plateaurect 250 406 340 427 Rong River...

s of southwest Oregon
Oregon
Oregon is a state in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. It is located on the Pacific coast, with Washington to the north, California to the south, Nevada on the southeast and Idaho to the east. The Columbia and Snake rivers delineate much of Oregon's northern and eastern...

 and California
California
California is a state located on the West Coast of the United States. It is by far the most populous U.S. state, and the third-largest by land area...

 in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

. It is a high altitude tree, typically occurring at 1400–2700 m (4,593.2–8,858.3 ft) altitude, though only rarely reaching tree line. The name Red Fir derives from the bark color of old trees.

Description


Abies magnifica is a large evergreen
Evergreen
In botany, an evergreen plant is a plant that has leaves in all seasons. This contrasts with deciduous plants, which completely lose their foliage during the winter or dry season.There are many different kinds of evergreen plants, both trees and shrubs...

 tree
Tree
A tree is a perennial woody plant. It is most often defined as a woody plant that has many secondary branches supported clear of the ground on a single main stem or trunk with clear apical dominance. A minimum height specification at maturity is cited by some authors, varying from 3 m to...

 typically up to 40–60 m (131.2–196.9 ft) tall and 2 metres (6.6 ft) trunk diameter, rarely to 76.5 metres (251 ft) tall and 3 metres (9.8 ft) diameter, with a narrow conic crown. The bark
Bark
Bark is the outermost layers of stems and roots of woody plants. Plants with bark include trees, woody vines and shrubs. Bark refers to all the tissues outside of the vascular cambium and is a nontechnical term. It overlays the wood and consists of the inner bark and the outer bark. The inner...

 on young trees is smooth, grey, and with resin
Resin
Resin in the most specific use of the term is a hydrocarbon secretion of many plants, particularly coniferous trees. Resins are valued for their chemical properties and associated uses, such as the production of varnishes, adhesives, and food glazing agents; as an important source of raw materials...

 blisters, becoming orange-red, rough and fissured on old trees. The leaves
Leaf
A leaf is an organ of a vascular plant, as defined in botanical terms, and in particular in plant morphology. Foliage is a mass noun that refers to leaves as a feature of plants....

 are needle-like, 2-3.5 cm long, glaucous blue-green above and below with strong stomatal bands, and an acute tip. They are arranged spirally on the shoot, but twisted slightly s-shaped to be upcurved above the shoot.

The cones
Conifer cone
A cone is an organ on plants in the division Pinophyta that contains the reproductive structures. The familiar woody cone is the female cone, which produces seeds. The male cones, which produce pollen, are usually herbaceous and much less conspicuous even at full maturity...

 are erect, 9-21 cm long, yellow-green (occasionally purple), ripening brown and disintegrating to release the winged seed
Seed
A seed is a small embryonic plant enclosed in a covering called the seed coat, usually with some stored food. It is the product of the ripened ovule of gymnosperm and angiosperm plants which occurs after fertilization and some growth within the mother plant...

s in fall.

Varieties


There are two, perhaps three varieties:
  • Abies magnifica var. magnifica, Red Fir — cones large (14-21 cm), cone bract scales short, not visible on the closed cones. Most of the species' range, primarily in the Sierra Nevada.
  • Abies magnifica var. shastensis, Shasta Red Fir — cones large (14-21 cm), cone bract scales longer, visible on the closed cone. The northwest of the species' range, in southwest Oregon and Shasta
    Shasta County, California
    Shasta County is a county located in the northern portion of the U.S. state of California. The county occupies the northern reaches of the Sacramento Valley, with portions extending into the southern reaches of the Cascade Range. As of the 2010 census, the population was 177,223, up from 163,256...

    , Siskiyou
    Siskiyou County, California
    Siskiyou County is a county located in the far northernmost part of the U.S. state of California, in the Shasta Cascade region on the Oregon border. Yreka is the county seat. Because of its substantial natural beauty, outdoor recreation opportunities, and Gold Rush era history, it is an important...

     and Trinity
    Trinity County, California
    Trinity County is a large, rugged and mountainous, heavily forested county located in the northwestern portion of the U.S. state of California, along the Trinity River and within the Salmon/Klamath Mountains. It covers an area of over two million acres , and as of the 2010 census its population...

     Counties in northwest California.
  • A. magnifica on the eastern slopes of southern Sierra Nevada — possibly a third variety, have not been formally named, also having long bracts, and additionally have smaller cones, 9-15 cm long.

Related


Red Fir is very closely related to Noble Fir
Noble Fir
Abies procera, the Noble Fir, is a western North American fir, native to the Cascade Range and Coast Range mountains of extreme northwest California and western Oregon and Washington in the United States...

 (Abies procera), which replaces it further north in the Cascade Range
Cascade Range
The Cascade Range is a major mountain range of western North America, extending from southern British Columbia through Washington and Oregon to Northern California. It includes both non-volcanic mountains, such as the North Cascades, and the notable volcanoes known as the High Cascades...

. They are best distinguished by the leaves; Noble Fir leaves have a groove along the midrib on the upper side, while Red Fir does not show this. Red Fir also tends to have the leaves less closely packed, with the shoot bark visible between the leaves, whereas the shoot is largely hidden in Noble Fir. Some botanists treat Abies magnifica var. shastensis as a natural hybrid between Red Fir and Noble Fir.

Discovery


This tree was discovered by William Lobb
William Lobb
William Lobb was a Cornish plant collector, employed by Veitch Nurseries of Exeter, who was responsible for the commercial introduction to England of Araucaria araucana from Chile and the massive Sequoiadendron giganteum from North America.He and his brother, Thomas Lobb, were the first...

 on his expedition to California of 1849 – 1853, having been overlooked previously by David Douglas
David Douglas
David Douglas was a Scottish botanist. He worked as a gardener, and explored the Scottish Highlands, North America, and Hawaii, where he died.-Early life:...

.

Uses


The wood
Wood
Wood is a hard, fibrous tissue found in many trees. It has been used for hundreds of thousands of years for both fuel and as a construction material. It is an organic material, a natural composite of cellulose fibers embedded in a matrix of lignin which resists compression...

 is used for general structural purposes and paper
Paper
Paper is a thin material mainly used for writing upon, printing upon, drawing or for packaging. It is produced by pressing together moist fibers, typically cellulose pulp derived from wood, rags or grasses, and drying them into flexible sheets....

 manufacture. It is also a popular Christmas tree
Christmas tree
The Christmas tree is a decorated evergreen coniferous tree, real or artificial, and a tradition associated with the celebration of Christmas. The tradition of decorating an evergreen tree at Christmas started in Livonia and Germany in the 16th century...

.

External links