Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Plantae Tracheophyta Pinopsida Pinales Pinaceae

Scientific Name: Abies procera
Species Authority: Rehd.
Common Name(s):
English Noble Fir
Taxonomic Source(s): Farjon, A. 2010. A Handbook of the World's Conifers. Koninklijke Brill, Leiden.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2011-03-03
Assessor(s): Farjon, A.
Reviewer(s): Thomas, P. & Stritch, L.
This species, while affected by past logging with an unknown reduction in its original (pre-European settlement) area of occupancy, still occupies vast areas where many stands are nearly pure, especially in managed forest areas, with good regeneration after logging. In other areas it is strictly protected, as in the national parks of the region. The species is therefore listed as Least Concern.
Previously published Red List assessments:
1998 Lower Risk/least concern (LR/lc)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Endemic to the USA occurring in NW California, Oregon, and Washington (Cascade Range, parts of Coast Range). The extent of occurrence is estimated to be more than 50,000 km2.
Countries occurrence:
United States (California, Oregon, Washington)
Lower elevation limit (metres):60
Upper elevation limit (metres):2700
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:Locally abundant.
Current Population Trend:Stable
Additional data:

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This species grows from the foothills of mountains in W Washington to high mountain sides in Oregon, between 60 m and 2,700 m a.s.l. It is most abundant in the mountains of the Cascade Range, on a variety of mountain soils with ample moisture available to the vegetation. The climate is cool temperate, with short summers and snowy winters, the annual precipitation ranging from 1,750 mm to 2,600 mm, much of it as snow. It mainly grows in the Canadian Life Zone, but also in the lower Transition Zone, where it can be associated with several other conifers, e.g. Tsuga heterophylla, Picea sitchensis and Thuja plicata near the coast, Pseudotsuga menziesii, Abies grandis, Pinus spp. in much of its range, and Abies lasiocarpa, A. amabilis, Tsuga mertensiana, Picea engelmannii, Larix occidentalis at higher elevations. Common shrubs are Rhododendron spp., Vaccinium spp. and Ribes spp. Abies procera can be dominant, but occurs rarely in pure stands.

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: Noble Fir attains large dimensions and grows an extremely straight bole under favourable site conditions.  Almost pure natural stands can yield large volumes of timber per ha. Its wood is of higher quality than that of other firs in North America due to greater strength and indeed its size. Besides general construction and carpentry applications, special uses have been propellers of aeroplanes and ladders, now mostly replaced by various metals. The odourless, white wood is excellent for making boxes. Young trees make attractive Christmas trees with their dense, upturned glaucous leaves. In amenity planting and horticulture this fir is one of the more popular and commonly used species and several cultivars are known. It was introduced to England by David Douglas in 1830. It has the largest seed cones of all species, with attractive, exserted yellowish bracts. It is unsuitable in climates with summer droughts or less than a good supply of rain spread evenly in the year as its bark tends to split open during dry spells.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Historically logging of this valuable fir has undoubtedly had a negative effect on the area of occupancy where logged stands were subsequently replaced with other trees or other forms of land use. Quantifying this loss over 150 years or three generations is very difficult. The decline has now virtually ceased.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species occurs within a number of protected areas throughout its range, including several national parks where any logging is banned.

Classifications [top]

1. Forest -> 1.4. Forest - Temperate
suitability: Suitable  major importance:Yes
2. Land/water management -> 2.1. Site/area management

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
  Action Recovery plan:No
  Systematic monitoring scheme:Yes
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Occur in at least one PA:Yes
  Area based regional management plan:No
In-Place Species Management
  Harvest management plan:No
  Successfully reintroduced or introduced beningly:No
  Subject to ex-situ conservation:No
In-Place Education
  Subject to recent education and awareness programmes:No
  Included in international legislation:No
  Subject to any international management/trade controls:No
5. Biological resource use -> 5.3. Logging & wood harvesting -> 5.3.2. Intentional use: (large scale)
♦ timing: Ongoing ♦ scope: Minority (<50%) ♦ severity: Unknown ⇒ Impact score: Unknown 
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

3. Monitoring -> 3.4. Habitat trends

♦  Construction or structural materials
 Local : ✓ 

♦  Pets/display animals, horticulture
 National : ✓  International : ✓ 

♦  Establishing ex-situ production *

Bibliography [top]

Farjon, A. 2010. Conifer Database (June 2008) In Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life: 2010 Annual Checklist (Bisby F.A., Roskov Y.R., Orrell T.M., Nicolson D., Paglinawan L.E., Bailly N., Kirk P.M., Bourgoin T., Baillargeon G., eds). Reading, UK. Available at:

Farjon, A. 2010. A Handbook of the World's Conifers. Koninklijke Brill, Leiden.

IUCN. 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (ver. 2013.1). Available at: (Accessed: 12 June 2013).

Citation: Farjon, A. 2013. Abies procera. In: The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2013: e.T42296A2970458. . Downloaded on 09 October 2015.
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