Keele University Arboretum
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Noble Fir - Abies procera
Origin: Noble Fir grows wild in the Cascades and parts of the Coast Range of Washington and Oregon. Introduced to the British Isles in the 1830s, it has since been planted widely.
Foliage: It can be distinguished from other conifers at Keele by its bluish-grey foliage, the needles of which all sweep upwards from the branch - as shown in the close-up opposite.
Fruit: the cone is very large - about the size of a pint beer glass - and they perch on top of the branch. Rather than drop to the ground, they break up on the tree.
Bark: the bark can be silvery-grey or dull purple. Smooth, with resin blisters at first, cracking with age.
Uses: only planted in the UK on a limited scale. The wood hard and dense and is used for interior joinery. The attractive foliage is sometimes incorporated into wreaths.
At Keele : We have two trees. One at the bottom of Keele Hall lawn (compartment 20; square O11) and another by the side of Lake 5 (compartment 9a; square R15).
The black and white line drawing used on this page is © Crown Copyright.
Reproduced with permission from the Forestry Commission.