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White Fir (Abies concolor)
Evergreen Trees (Conifers), Vegetation Around Las Vegas
 
White Fir
Tall, narrow trees with a pointy top

General: White Fir (Abies concolor) is a coniferous (cone-bearing) tree with flat needles that radiate upward from the twigs. The cones, found only on the upper-most branches, are conical and stand up from the branches (cones of other conifers hang down). The cones fall apart when ripe, leaving upright "spindles" on the branches.

In southern Nevada, White Fir is a common component of the montane vegetation in the Canadian (Pine-Fir Forest) life zone. In southern Nevada, this species is the "Fir" in the "Pine-Fir Forest" and can be found in the highest mountains around Las Vegas (Spring, Sheep, Virgin, Clark, and New York mountains). This species is more common in mountain ranges to the north of Las Vegas.

White Fir

Family: Pine (Pinaceae).

Other Names:

Plant Form: Tall conifer, conical with pointed crown.

Height: To about 150 feet in the desert, to 200 feet elsewhere.

Trunk: To 3.5 ft diameter in the desert; to 9 feet elsewhere.

White Fir
Needles bend up from the branches

Bark: Smooth with resin blisters, gray-white; aging to dark brown; thick, deeply furrowed.

Branches: Young branches whorled. Leaf scars smooth, round.

Needles: Pale blue-green or silvery, spreading and curved upward, flat, to 1- to 3.5-inches long; tip blunt.

Cones: Gray-green, 3 to 5 in., upright on branches near the top of the tree, spindle persistent.

White Fir
Resin blisters under young bark

Seeds:

Habitat: Higher-elevation mountain slopes and valleys.

Elevation: 3,000 to 10,000 feet.

Distribution: California to Oregon, Idaho, Colorado, and south into northern Baja California. Around Las Vegas, they occur in the Spring, Sheep, and Virgin mountains.

Comments: This is the only species of true fir in southern Nevada.

White Fir (Abies concolor)
Gray, furrowed bark near the base of an old tree
White Fir (Abies concolor)
Cones stand upright on branches near the top of the tree
White Fir (Abies concolor)
Upright spindles from old cones
White Fir (Abies concolor)
Male cones
White Fir (Abies concolor) White Fir (Abies concolor)
White Fir (Abies concolor) White Fir (Abies concolor)
White Fir (Abies concolor) White Fir (Abies concolor)
White Fir (Abies concolor)
Unripe cones
White Fir (Abies concolor)
Unripe cones

 
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Note: All distances, elevations, and other facts are approximate. Names generally follow the USDA database.
© 2014 Jim Boone; Last updated 140209

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