Pacific silver fir (PSF)

Abies amabilis

Native range

Native to the maritime zones of the Pacific north-west of America.

Provenance choice

Provenances from western Washington are preferred.

Site requirements

It is suited to a cool maritime climate with rainfall of > 1250 mm well distributed across the year. A shade tolerant species which grows slowly for a number of years but can then out grow associated species such as western hemlock or Sitka spruce. Cold hardy in Britain but can be vulnerable to late frosts and does not withstand exposure or drought. Grows on soils of poor to rich nutrient status provided these have fresh to moist soil moisture. Does not tolerate very poor soils or heather competition and should not be planted on peats or very dry soils.

Pests and pathogens

Unlike most of the others firs, Pacific silver fir has been found to be extremely susceptible to Heterobasidion (Fomes root and butt rot).

Use

Although likely to be restricted to the western and upland forest zones in Britain, it could find an increasing role as a shade tolerant component of Continuous Cover Forestry stands.