The Noble Fir is one of the many plant introductions from North America of the great plant hunter David Douglas. First brought to Britain in 1830, it is the largest of the true firs, hence the common name ‘Noble’. An imposing tree with downward-sweeping grey-blue foliage and large cones which are borne very freely, it makes an impressive specimen tree.
Site and soil
The Noble Fir does best in deep, moist, slightly acidic soils. It copes well in windy sites and in the wild is found on exposed mountain-sides. Some tolerance to shade when young.
Height and spread
After 10 years: 8m x 3m After 20 years: 15m x 4m
Leaf and bark
The leaves are flattened needles to 3.5cm long, borne flat along the upper side of the branches. They are blue-grey in colour with a strong scent. The bark is pale grey, sometimes tinged purple, splitting into deep cracks with age.
Flower, seed and fruit
The flowers appear in April. The reddish male flowers are borne beneath the leaves, the greenish-yellow female flowers are upright. The large cones, to 25cm, are borne freely even on young trees; they are green, ripening to brown.
Parkland, woodland, large gardens, specimen tree, commercial forestry. The leaves were once used to make a cough medicine. The close-grained wood is light and very strong and was used in building early aeroplanes and ladders. It is now highly valued in the building industry.
Insects shelter in the plates of the bark. Birds like the Siskin and the Crossbill are attracted to the Noble Fir for nesting sites and for feeding.
The main reasons for buying protection is to protect the plants against:
When it comes to deciding what protection to choose the golden rule is to choose the product dependent on which pest you are protecting against. The below will help you in deciding what height of protection you will need.
Vole, Mice 20cm
Roe Deer, Muntjac 1.20m
Fallow Deer 1.50m
Pest & Minimum Protection Height
Protection Type Where more than one size is listed, the wider diameter protection is recommended for taller, bushier plants.
Support Required Taller support is recommended for use in sandier, lighter soils and wider/stronger support should be used at exposed sites.