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The Flora of Mount Shasta

Shasta Red Fir

Pine Family (Pinaceae) Abies magnifica
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Red Fir Forest courtesy of Ken and Leona Beatty
Red Fir Forest with Avalanche Gulch in the background
© 2001 Ken and Leona Beatty

Red Fir Forest © 2001 Ken and Leona Beatty

Growth Form: Young trees charactistically have whorls of horizontal branches. Older trees are less symmetrical in their branching pattern but have shorter branches, an adaptation to highter elevations and heavier snow loads.

Leaves: Short and stiff, look like a miniature hockey stick. The needles grow tightly against the twig, especially in the upper part of the tree.

Bark: Thick, deeply furrowed and reddish brown.

Red Fir spray and cone © 2001 Ken and Leona Beatty

Cones: 6" to 8" in length, papery bracts extend beyond the scales. The cones of true firs (Abies) generally develop in the upper part of the tree.

Found: Klamath and southern Cascade ranges, especially on Mount Shasta, Scott, and Trinity mountains and higher elevations in the Sierras.

Tidbits: Shasta Red Fir is commonly called a Silver Tip on the Christmas tree market.

 

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