Grand fir

Silhouette - grand fir
  • Latin name: Abies grandis (Dougl. Ex D.Don) Lindl.
  • French name: Sapin grandissime
  • Synonym(s): Lowland fir
  • Taxonomic Serial Number: 183284
Description

Leaves

  • Twig and needles - grand fir
  • Needle and needle cross section - grand fir

Form

  • Relatively stiff
  • Shorter on the upper side of the twig
  • Upper surface grooved
  • Tip notched
  • Odour of oranges when crushed
  • Needles horizontally spreading in 2 distinct ranks
  • Resin ducts near lower surface

Length

  • 20–35 mm

Colour

  • Upper surface shiny dark green, sometimes with a few white dots at the tip
  • Several lines of white dots on lower surface

Buds

Form

  • Broadly ovoid
  • Blunt-tipped
  • Resinous

Length

  • 5 mm

Colour

  • Purple or bluish-brown

Twigs

  • Twig terminal - grand fir

Form

  • Slender
  • Minutely hairy

Colour

  • Olive-green to dark orange-brown

Seed cones (mature)

Form

  • Cylindrical to narrowly ovoid
  • Tip blunt or sunken

Length

  • 5–12 cm

Colour

  • Green to purplish

Structure

  • Scales much wider (25–30 mm) than long
  • Bracts shorter than the scales, with broad pointed shoulders sloping inward to the base of the tip, a small tooth no higher than the tops of the shoulders

Seeds

  • Cone scale; outer surface with bract (left), inner surface with winged seed (right), winged seed, inner surface (below) - grand fir

Length

  • Seed 6–10 mm
  • Seed wing 12–20 mm

Colour

  • Light brown or tan

Bark

Form

  • Smooth, with resin blisters when young
  • With age, becoming thick and scaly, separating into flat ridges

Colour

  • Greyish-brown with white blotches when young
  • With age, becoming deep brown, ridges dark grey

Wood

Texture

  • Light, soft, relatively weak
  • Odourless

Colour

  • Light brown

Uses

  • Lumber, wood pulp, plywood

Size

Height

  • To 40 m in coastal forests
  • To 75 m on Vancouver Island
  • Seldom reaches 40 m in interior British Columbia

Diameter

  • To 90 cm

Maximum age

  • 250 years

Tree form

  • Silhouette - grand fir

Open-grown

Trunk

  • On young, open-grown trees, trunk is completely hidden by branches that extend to the ground

Crown

  • Pointed at top

Forest-grown

Trunk

  • On old trees, slightly tapered, long compared with the length of the crown

Crown

  • Cylindrical or oval, rounded at the top
  • Principal branches horizontal
  • Lower ones drooping, with upturned tips

Root system

  • Deep, wide-spreading

Habitat

Site

  • Occurs at relatively low elevations
  • Best growth on deep, well-drained, alluvial soils

Light tolerance

  • Moderately shade-tolerant

Associated species

  • Occasionally found in pure stands; often mixed with western redcedar, black cottonwood, western hemlock, Douglas-fir, red alder, and Sitka spruce

Range

Coastal and interior forests of southern British Columbia

Insects and diseases

Insects and diseases that are found most frequently and/or that cause the most damage in our Canadian forests.

Photos
  • Grand fir
  • Grand fir
  • Grand fir
Distribution map
Distribution map - grand fir
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