THE NOBLE FIR.
The noble fir or red fir is another giant of the Northwest. On the western slopes of the Cascade Mountains of Wash ington and Oregon it reaches occasionally two hundred and fifty feet in height, differing from magnifica in being round-topped instead of pyramidal before maturity. Its red-brown wood, furrowed bark and the red staminate flowers justify its name. The twigs are red and velvety for four or five years. The leaves are deeply grooved above, rounded and obscurely ribbed on the lower surface, blue-green, often silvery through their first season, crowded and curved so that the tips point away from the end of the branch.
The oblong cylindrical cones, four to five inches long, are velvety, their scales covered by bracts, shaped and notched like a scallop shell, with a forward-pointing spine, exceeding the bract in length. Forests of this tree at elevations of twenty-five hundred to five thousand feet are found in Washington and northern Oregon, from which limited quantities of the brownish-red wood enter the lumber trade under the name of "larch."