Firs, True (Western Species) (Abies lasiocarpa, A. magnifica, A. grandis, A. procera, A. amabilis, A. concolor)

Firs, True (Western Species) is a domestic softwood


Six commercial species make up the western true firs: subalpine fir (Abies lasiocarpa), California red fir (A. magnifica), grand fir (A. grandis), noble fir (A. procera), Pacific silver fir (A. amabilis), and white fir (A. concolor). The western true firs are cut for lumber primarily in Washington, Oregon, California, western Montana, and northern Idaho, and they are marketed as white fir throughout the United States. Cypress-tupelo swamp near New Orleans, LA. Species include baldcypress (Taxodium distichum)), tupelo (Nyssa), ash (Fraxinus), willow (Salix), and elm (Ulmus). Swollen buttresses and “knees” are typically present in cypress.


The wood of the western true firs is similar to that of the eastern true firs, which makes it impossible to distinguish the true fir species by examination of the wood alone. Western true firs are light in weight but, with the exception of subalpine fir, have somewhat higher strength properties than does balsam fir. Shrinkage of the wood is low to moderately high.

Primary Uses

Lumber of the western true firs is primarily used for building construction, boxes and crates, planing-mill products, sashes, doors, and general millwork. In house construction, the lumber is used for framing, subflooring, and sheathing. Some western true fir lumber is manufactured into boxes and crates. High-grade lumber from noble fir is used mainly for interior woodwork, moulding, siding, and sash and door stock. Some of the highest quality material is suitable for aircraft construction. Other special uses of noble fir are venetian blinds and ladder rails.

*Much of the base wood information presented here is made available by the USDA FPL FS. If you are interested in a much more technical description of wood properties, I encourage you to visit the source.