Native to the mountain ranges of the Pacific coast of North America.
Provenances from the Washington or north Oregon Cascade mountains or from good quality British stands should be used.
Prefers a cool and moist (i.e. >1000 mm rainfall) climate; can cope with exposure and is more frost resistant than other firs, therefore most suited to upland Britain including higher elevations. A species of intermediate shade tolerance which is reported to have stronger timber than most other silver firs. Grows best on fresh to moist mineral soils of poor nutrient status, but suffers severely from heather competition. It is a high volume producer under the right conditions, but suffers from drought crack on drier soils.
Pests and pathogens
Noble fir is largely free of major pathogens although reported to be susceptible to the root and butt rot pathogen Phaeolus schweinitzii. It is subject to numerous foliage diseases (needle cast and rusts fungi) in its native range, but none are considered significant except on Christmas trees.
Occasional reports of infestation by balsam wooly aphid, and some trees may become severely infested and suffer dieback.
A minor species which is valued for its foliage and as a Christmas tree. It may have an increased role for diversifying spruce forests in western Britain.