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threatened and/or endangered

California Red Fir Abies magnifica


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Family: Pinaceae, Pine view all from this family

Description Large evergreen tree, narrow conical crown. Branches horizontal. Bark smooth, grey, with resin blisters on younger trees, becoming orange-red, rough and fissured with age. Needles, 2-3.5 cm. long, blue-green above, strong stomatal bands, acute tip. Arranged spirally on shoot, twisted, s-shaped, upcurved above shoot. Cones erect, 9-21 cm. long, yellow-green, sometimes purple, ripening brown, disintegrating to release winged seeds.

Dimensions Height: 40–60 m. (130–200 ft.) -- rarely 76.5 m. (251 ft.)
Diameter: 2 m. (6.6 ft.) -- rarely 3 m. (9.8 ft.).

Habitat Canyons & valleys, Mountains.

Range California, Northwest, Southwest.

Discussion The name Red Fir derives from the bark color of old trees. Closely related to Noble Fir which replaces it further north in the Cascade Range. 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. Wood used structural purposes, paper manufacture. Popular for Christmas trees.