Abies grandis

Abies grandis (grand fir, giant fir, lowland white fir, great silver fir, western white fir, Vancouver fir, or Oregon fir) is a fir native to the Pacific Northwest and Northern California of North America, occurring at altitudes of sea level to 1,800 m. It is a major constituent of the Grand Fir/Douglas Fir Ecoregion of the Cascade Range.

The tree typically grows to 40–70 m in height, and may be the tallest Abies species in the world. There are two varieties, the taller coast grand fir, found west of the Cascade Mountains, and the shorter interior grand fir, found east of the Cascades. It was first described in 1831 by David Douglas.[2]

It is closely related to white fir. The bark has historical medicinal properties, and it is popular in the United States as a Christmas tree. Its lumber is a softwood, and it is harvested as a hem fir. It is used in paper-making, as well as construction for framing and flooring, where it is desired for its resistance to splitting and splintering.

Abies grandis
Grand fir
Abies grandis Rogów 6
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Pinophyta
Class: Pinopsida
Order: Pinales
Family: Pinaceae
Genus: Abies
Species:
A. grandis
Binomial name
Abies grandis
Abies grandis range map 3
Natural range of Abies grandis
green - A. grandis ssp. grandis
blue - A. grandis ssp. idahoensis

Description

The bottom (left) and top (right) of the foliage

Abies grandis 5357
Abies grandis 5359

The grand fir was first described by Scottish botanical explorer David Douglas, who in 1831 collected specimens of the tree along the Columbia River in the Pacific Northwest.[2]

Abies grandis is a large evergreen coniferous tree growing to 40–70 m (exceptionally 100 m) tall and with a trunk diameter of up to 2 m. The leaves are needle-like, flattened, 3–6 cm long and 2 mm wide by 0.5 mm thick, glossy dark green above, and with two green-white bands of stomata below, and slightly notched at the tip. The leaf arrangement is spiral on the shoot, but with each leaf variably twisted at the base so they all lie in two more-or-less flat ranks on either side of the shoot. On the lower leaf surface, two green-white bands of stomata are prominent. The base of each leaf is twisted a variable amount so that the leaves are nearly coplanar. Different length leaves, but all lined up in a flat plane, is a useful way to quickly distinguish this species.

Abies grandis cones
Cones

The cones are 6–12 cm long and 3.5–4.5 cm broad, with about 100-150 scales; the scale bracts are short, and hidden in the closed cone. The winged seeds are released when the cones disintegrate at maturity about 6 months after pollination.[3]

Varieties

Abies grandis oldtrees
Old-growth copse in inland Oregon

There are two varieties, probably better treated at subspecies rank though not yet formally published as such:

  • Abies grandis var. grandis. Coast grand fir. Coastal lowland forests, at sea level to 900 m altitude, from Vancouver Island and coastal British Columbia, Canada, south to Sonoma County, California, United States. A large, very fast-growing tree to 70 m tall. Foliage strongly flattened on all shoots. Cones slightly narrower (mostly less than 4 cm broad), with thinner, fairly flexible scales. Tolerates winter temperatures down to about -25° to -30 °C; growth on good sites may exceed 1.5 m per year when young.[3]
  • Abies grandis var. idahoensis. Interior grand fir. Interior forests, at (600–) 900–1800 m altitude, on the east slope of the Cascades in Washington and northern Oregon and in the Rocky Mountains from southeast British Columbia south to central Idaho, northeast Oregon and western Montana. A smaller, slow-growing tree to 40–45 m tall. Foliage not strongly flattened on all shoots, the leaves often raised above the shoot, particularly on upper crown shoots. Cones slightly stouter (mostly over 4 cm broad), with thicker, slightly woody scales. Tolerates winter temperatures down to about -40 °C; growth on good sites not exceeding 0.6 m per year even when young.[3]

Grand fir is very closely related to white fir, with the interior variety idahoensis particularly similar to the western forms of white fir from western Oregon and California, intergrading with it where they meet in the Cascades of central Oregon.[3]

Uses

The inner bark of the grand fir was used by some Plateau Indian tribes for treating colds and fever.[4] The foliage has an attractive citrus-like scent, and is sometimes used for Christmas decorations in the United States, including Christmas trees. It is also planted as an ornamental tree in large parks.

Timber

Abies grandis cross section
Trunk cross-section

The lumber is non-resinous and fine textured.[2] In the North American logging industry, the grand fir is often referred to as "hem fir", with hem fir being a number of species with interchangeable types of wood (specifically the California red fir, noble fir, Pacific silver fir, white fir, and western hemlock). Grand fir is often shipped along with these other species. It can also referred to as "white fir" lumber, an umbrella term also referring to Abies amabilis, Abies concolor, and Abies magnifica.

Lumber from the grand fir is considered a softwood. As such, it is used for paper making, packing crates, and construction. Hem fir is frequently used for framing, and is able to meet the building code span requirements of numerous construction projects.[5]

As a hem fir, the trunk of the grand fir is considered slightly below the "Douglas fir-larch" species combination in strength, and stronger than the "Douglas fir-South" and "spruce-pine-fir (South)" species combos (both umbrella terms for a number of species with similar wood). Because it is nearly as strong as Douglas fir-larch, it often meets the structural load-bearing requirements for framing in residential, light commercial, and heavy construction. Excluding Douglas fir-larch, hem fir's modulus of elasticity value as a stiffness factor in floor systems (denoted as MOE or E) is stronger than all other western species combinations. Hem fir is preferred by many builders because of its ability to hold and not be split by nails and screws, and its low propensity for splintering when sawed.[5]

References

  1. ^ Farjon, A. (2013). "Abies grandis". The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN. 2013: e.T42284A2969709. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2013-1.RLTS.T42284A2969709.en. Retrieved 9 January 2018.
  2. ^ a b c "Brochure: White Fir Facts" (PDF). SPI. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-11-05. Retrieved 2012-01-12.
  3. ^ a b c d Conifer Specialist Group (1998). "Abies grandis". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2006. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 12 May 2006.
  4. ^ Hunn, Eugene S. (1990). Nch'i-Wana, "The Big River": Mid-Columbia Indians and Their Land. University of Washington Press. p. 351. ISBN 0-295-97119-3.
  5. ^ a b "Hem-Fir species group". Western Woods Products Association. March 1997. Retrieved 2012-07-10.

External links

(-)-camphene synthase

(-)-camphene synthase (EC 4.2.3.117, CS) is an enzyme with systematic name geranyl-diphosphate diphosphate-lyase (cyclizing, (-)-camphene-forming). This enzyme catalyses the following chemical reaction

geranyl diphosphate (-)-camphene + diphosphate

(-)-Camphene is the major product in Abies grandis (grand fir) with traces of other monoterpenoids.

A. grandis

A. grandis may refer to:

Abies grandis, the grand fir, giant fir, lowland white fir, great silver fir, Western white fir, Vancouver fir or Oregon fir, a tree species native to the Pacific Northwest and Northern California of North America

Aeshna grandis, the brown hawker, a large dragonfly species widespread in England

Alternanthera grandis, a plant species endemic to Ecuador

Angistorhinus grandis, an extinct phytosaur species found in Texas and Wyoming in the United States and that lived from the Late Triassic period

Astelia grandis, a plant species in the genus Astelia native to New Zealand

Aublysodon grandis, a nomen dubium given to a large number of carnivorous dinosaur teeth

Abieta-7,13-dien-18-al dehydrogenase

Abieta-7,13-dien-18-al dehydrogenase (EC 1.2.1.74, abietadienal dehydrogenase (ambiguous)) is an enzyme with systematic name abieta-7,13-dien-18-al:NAD+ oxidoreductase. This enzyme catalyses the following chemical reaction

abieta-7,13-dien-18-al + H2O + NAD+ abieta-7,13-dien-18-oate + NADH + H+

This enzyme catalyses the last step of the pathway of abietic acid biosynthesis in Abies grandis.

Arboretum Lehmkuhlen

The Arboretum Lehmkuhlen (50 hectares) is an arboretum maintained by the Guts- und Forstverwaltung Lehmkuhlen. It is located in Lehmkuhlen, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany, and open by appointment only.

The arboretum was created between 1911-1928 by Cosmos von Milde under Conrad Hinrich IV. Freiherr von Donner, who planted approximately 1500 tree specimens from around the world. Today the arboretum contains about 3200 individual plants of approximately 1000 specimens, including mature specimens of Abies grandis, Abies nordmanniana, Fraxinus ornus, Juglans ailantifolia, Mespilus germanica, Quercus alba, Quercus castaneifolia, Quercus dentata, and Quercus trojana. A municipal cemetery has been created in its northwestern corner.

Argyresthia fundella

Argyresthia fundella is a moth of the family Yponomeutidae. It is found in most of Europe, except Ireland, Great Britain, the Iberian Peninsula, Finland, the Baltic region, Slovenia, Hungary and Greece.The wingspan is 9–10 mm.The larvae feed on Abies alba, Abies balsamea, Abies concolor, Abies grandis, Abies nordmanniana and Abies numidica. They mine the leaves of their host plant. The mine is usually only found in the distal half of the leaf. Initially, the larva feeds towards the tip. It then descends along the other side of the leaf. Most frass is deposited in the leaf tip. A round hole is made at the base of the mine, which the larva uses to leave the mine. This hole is closed with silk. A single larva creates mines in several leaves before overwintering inside the mine. Pupation takes place outside of the mine at the underside of a leaf. The larvae have a dirty dark green body and a black head. They can be found from late summer to April.

Choristoneura retiniana

Choristoneura retiniana is a species of moth of the family Tortricidae. It is found in the United States, where it has been recorded from California and Nevada.The wingspan is 20–25 mm. Adults have been recorded on wing from June to September.

The larvae feed on Abies concolor, Abies magnifica, Abies grandis and Pseudotsuga menziesii.

Coleotechnites granti

Coleotechnites granti is a moth of the family Gelechiidae. It is found in North America, where it has been recorded from British Columbia.The wingspan is 9-9.5 mm. The forewings are white sprinkled with light ochreous-tipped scales and the basal fifth of the costa is black. The hindwings are light grey.

The larvae feed on Abies grandis. They mine the leaves of their host plant. The larvae overwinters within the mine in the leaf.

David Don

David Don (21 December 1799 – 15 December 1841) was a Scottish botanist.

David Don was born on 21 December 1799 at Doo Hillock, Forfar, Angus, Scotland. He was the younger brother of George Don, also a botanist, their parents being George Don of Forfar and his wife Caroline Clementina Stuart. George Don (senior) was for a long time Curator of the Royal Botanic Garden, Leith Walk, Edinburgh. David was Professor of Botany at King's College London from 1836 to 1841, and librarian at the Linnean Society of London from 1822 to 1841.

He described several of the major conifers discovered in the period, including first descriptions of Coast Redwood (Taxodium sempervirens D. Don; now Sequoia sempervirens (D. Don) Endl.), Bristlecone Fir (Pinus bracteata D. Don, now Abies bracteata (D. Don) A. Poit.), Grand Fir (Pinus grandis Douglas ex D. Don; now Abies grandis (Douglas ex D. Don) Lindl.) and Coulter Pine (Pinus coulteri D. Don), and was the first to treat Sugi (Cupressus japonica Thunb.; now Cryptomeria japonica (Thunb.) D. Don) in a new genus.

He also named the orchid genus Pleione in 1825.

David Don was librarian to the botanist Aylmer Bourke Lambert and compiled for him, Prodromus florae nepalensis ... London, J. Gale, 1825, based on collections made by the botanists Francis Hamilton and Nathaniel Wallich of the Calcutta Botanic Garden.

In 1938 the London County Council marked Don at 32 Soho Square with a rectangular stone plaque, commemorating him as well as botanists Joseph Banks and Robert Brown and meetings of the Linnean Society.

Egira hiemalis

Egira hiemalis is a moth of the Noctuidae family. It is found from British Columbia south to California.

The wingspan is about 36 mm. Adults are on wing from April to May.

The larvae feed on Kunzia tridentata, Abies grandis, Tsuga heterophylla and Pseudotsuga species, including Pseudotsuga menziesii.

Eupithecia annulata

Eupithecia annulata, the larch pug moth, is a moth in the family Geometridae. The species was first described by George Duryea Hulst in 1896. It is found in North America from British Columbia north to the Yukon, east to Newfoundland and Labrador and south to California and Colorado.

The wingspan is about 19 mm. Adults are on wing from April to June.

The larvae feed on Pseudotsuga menziesii, Picea mariana, Picea engelmannii, Picea glauca, Picea engelmannii, Pseudotsuga menziesii var. glauca, Tsuga mertensiana, Tsuga heterophylla, Abies amabilis, Abies grandis, Abies lasiocarpa, Abies lasiocarpa, Quercus garryana, Pinus monticola, Pinus contorta var. latifolia, Larix occidentalis and Thuja plicata. Full-grown larvae reach a length of about 22 mm. There are two morphs. The common morph has a green and brown variant. The second morph has a greenish-brown, reddish-brown or yellowish-brown body and head. Larvae can be found from May to August and pupation occurs from July to August. The species overwinters in the pupal stage.

Eupithecia longipalpata

Eupithecia longipalpata is a moth in the family Geometridae. It is found from coastal British Columbia south to California.

The wingspan is about 21 mm. Adults are light brownish with an ochreous tinge. Adults are on wing from late June to July.

The larvae feed on the needles of Abies grandis, Abies amabilis, Abies lasiocarpa, Pseudotsuga menziesii and Pseudotsuga menziesii var. glauca, Tsuga heterophylla, Tsuga mertensiana, Thuja plicata, Picea sitchensis and Pinus contorta var. latifolia. Full-grown larvae reach a length of 20 mm. There are two colour morphs. The common morph is green with a yellowish green head. The second morph is brown. Larvae can be found from April to early June and again from mid August to October. Pupation takes place in early June.

Eupithecia olivacea

Eupithecia olivacea is a moth in the family Geometridae. It is found from British Columbia south through Washington and Oregon to California.

The forewings are uniform olive-brown. Adults are on wing from early March to April.

The larvae feed on Abies grandis, Abies amabilis, Abies lasiocarpa, Crataegus douglasii, Pseudotsuga menziesii var. glauca, Picea sitchensis and Tsuga heterophylla. They have a brown body and head and reach a length of about 20 mm when full-grown. There are two morphs. Larvae can be found from April to June and pupation occurs from late June to July. The species overwinters in the pupal stage.

Hydriomena speciosata

Hydriomena speciosata is a moth of the family Geometridae. It is found from coastal British Columbia south to California. The habitat consists of wet conifer forests.

The wingspan is about 36 mm. The forewings have alternating bands of green and black. Adults are on wing in midsummer.The larvae feed on the foliage of Pinaceae species, including Abies grandis, Picea, Pinus, Pseudotsuga menziesii and Tsuga heterophylla. Mature larvae reach a length of 20 mm. They have a cream coloured body, overlain with dark mottling and a brown head. The species overwinters as a mid instar larva. Pupation takes place in May or June.

Marmara oregonensis

Marmara oregonensis is a moth of the family Gracillariidae. It is known from Oregon, United States.The larvae feed on Abies grandis and Pseudotsuga menziesii. They mine the stem of their host plant. It mines the smooth bark surfaces. The mines are formed in the living periderm of the host causing superficial injury to the tree.

Neoabietadiene synthase

Neoabietadiene synthase (EC 4.2.3.132, AgAS, PtTPS-LAS) is an enzyme with systematic name (+)-copaly-diphosphate diphosphate-lyase (cyclizing, neoabietadiene-forming). This enzyme catalyses the following chemical reaction

(+)-copalyl diphosphate neoabietadiene + diphosphate

This enzyme is isolated from Abies grandis (grand fir).

Neophasia menapia

Neophasia menapia, the pine white, is a butterfly in the family Pieridae. It is found in the western United States and in southern British Columbia, Canada.It is mostly white with black veins and wing bars. The species is similar to Neophasia terlooii but their ranges only overlap in New Mexico.The wingspan is 42–50 millimetres (1.7–2.0 in).The host plants are Pinus species, Pseudotsuga menziesii, Tsuga heterophylla, Abies balsamea, Abies grandis, and Picea sitchensis.

Nepytia umbrosaria

Nepytia umbrosaria is a moth of the family Geometridae. It is found in North America, including Arizona, British Columbia, California, Oklahoma, Oregon and Washington.

The wingspan is about 33 mm. Adults are on wing from late July to early August.

The larvae feed on the foliage of Abies amabilis, Abies grandis, Pseudotsuga menziesii var. glauca and Tsuga heterophylla. Mature larvae reach a length of about 35 mm. They have a creamy yellow body, marked with orange middorsal patches and with a light tan head with dark spots. The species overwinters as a mid-instar larva. Larvae feed from April to June. Pupation takes place in June.

Syngrapha celsa

Syngrapha celsa, the plain silver Y or western conifer looper, is a moth of the family Noctuidae. It is found in from British Columbia to California, Idaho, Nevada, Arizona and New Mexico.

The wingspan is 34–38 mm. Adults fly from July to September depending on the location.

The larvae feed on Abies lasiocarpa, Abies grandis, Abies concolor, Picea egelmannii, Picea glauca, Pinus monticola and Tsuga heterophylla.

Tetracis pallulata

Tetracis pallulata is a moth of the family Geometridae. It is found from southern California north to British Columbia, east to Idaho (Clearwater County) and western Montana (Lewis and Clark Counties) from near sea level to 2,200 meters.

The length of the forewings 18–24 mm. Adults are on wing from August to October.

Larvae have been recorded on Abies concolor, Picea engelmannii, Picea sitchensis, Abies grandis, Pseudotsuga menziesii and Tsuga species (including Tsuga heterophylla and Tsuga canadensis).

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