Abies grandis
Common Name: grand fir 
Type: Needled evergreen
Family: Pinaceae
Native Range: Northwestern United States
Zone: 5 to 6
Height: 100.00 to 250.00 feet
Spread: 20.00 to 35.00 feet
Bloom Time: Non-flowering
Bloom Description: Non-flowering
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Medium
Leaf: Fragrant, Evergreen
Other: Winter Interest


Best grown in rich, consistently moist, slightly acidic, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Best growth typically occurs in deep, rich, alluvial soils in moist, cool locations such as the Pacific Northwest. Performs poorly in most areas in the eastern U.S. Grand fir is not recommended for planting south of USDA Zone 6.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Abies grandis, commonly called grand fir, is a large, evergreen fir with a spire crown in youth that typically rounds into a multiple-leadered dome with age. It is native to moist coastal bottomlands and alpine slopes from sea level to 6000’ in elevation in the Pacific Northwest from southwestern British Columbia south to northern California and in a disjunct population in the Rocky Mountains from southeastern British Columbia to central Idaho and far northwestern Montana. It will grow to 200-250’ tall with a 4-6’ trunk diameter in Pacific coniferous forests and alpine slopes in coastal areas west of the cascades (greatest height is in coniferous rain forests on the Olympic peninsula of Washington), but to 130-160’ with a 2-4’ trunk diameter in areas along the eastern slope of the Cascades in Washington and Oregon and in the Rocky Mountains. This is one of the tallest firs in the world, hence the common name.

Smooth gray bark develops ridges and furrows as it ages to brown. Flat needles (to 2 1/2” long) are shiny dark green above with two white stomatal lines beneath. Needles have blunt to slightly notched tips. Needles emit a balsamy, tangerine-like aroma when crushed, hence the additional common name of stinking fir for this tree. Cylindrical seed cones (to 4.5” long) stand upright above the needles near the tips of the upper branches, emerging green in spring, but maturing to yellowish-brown sometimes tinged blue-gray to purple. Oblong pollen cones (to 1 1/4" long) droop from the leaf axils under the needles. Pollen cones are pale yellow. As is distinctive with the firs, the upright seed cones disintegrate (scales drop) in fall after the seeds ripen.

Genus name is an ancient Latin name for a tree described by Pliny around 77 A.D.

Specific epithet is in reference to large tree size.


No serious insect or disease problems. The balsam woolly adelgid is a significant problem in some areas. Additional potential insect pests include bark beetles, spruce budworms, tussock moths, aphids, bagworms and scale. Spider mites may occur in hot conditions. Potential disease problems include cankers, heart rot, root rot, needle rust and twig blight.


Large specimen fir for the landscape.