Abies procera

Noble fir

One of the giants of the ancient forest, they can easily live 500 years and grow to be 100-200 feet tall. The needles are similar to a blue spruce, thick and silvery-blue, but they all twist to point upwards on each branch. The cones are large, 5-6 inches long, oval shaped and shaggy looking. When the trees are young they have sap bubbles under smooth silvery bark. When they age the bark becomes fragmented.

Noble fir is a popular holiday tree for its fragrance and symmetrical form. Two six footers, two twelve footers, two eighteen footers were part of the display in a skyscraper lobby downtown that I helped decorate while doing floral design temp work. It was fun work, even the day and a half I spent out in the rain by myself hanging giant wreaths and garland. There’s nothing like working atop a 20 foot lift to boost one’s confidence. The other holiday temps were also new to the city and were artists of some type, and meeting some of them was the best part.

Two guys who worked for the designer had driven to the country side and cut down the two big trees while we were putting up, lighting and decorating the smaller trees. One of the guys had lots of piercings and a bushy red-dyed goatee. The other had wild hair and a mustasch with long, twirled ends. Us five girls, all in black, helped them load up the trees on to carts, bring them in to the building and put them up in stands. They thanked us in a funny way, calling us something cute I can’t remember.

The tall trees were so fresh from the forest that they still had cold, moist air trapped between their branches. There were all sorts of little insects and bits of long grass stuck to them, and their prescence seemed incongruous in the polished brass and granite hall.

About Mulysa

I love my work as a landscape designer and artist. When I'm not planning homesteads or working in the studio, you'll find me hiking, photographing, gardening, baking, cooking vegetarian meals with friends, reading and working on sustainability issues...with my baby on my hip in Portland, Oregon.
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