Silver Fir: Importance & Use

The silver fir is found across all of our mountains where it is part of a typical level of vegetation, along with the beech tree.

Silver Fir

The genus Abies, found throughout the northern hemisphere, has more than 40 species. The silver or white fir (Abies alba ) is the primary resinous species of the central and southern European mountain ranges. About 70% of silver fir trees grow in altitudes between 600m and 1,200m.

Why does EcoTree plant silver firs?

The Silver Fir is resistant to wind and cold and indifferent to the chemical richness of its soil. This species also has two other advantages: it's a thermophilic species, able to germinate with only 1% light, and can be widespread to ensure its renewal.
In addition, the silver fir is a melliferous plant that doesn't produce nectar, but honeydew: a substance rich in sugar, with little water. Bees use it along with pollen to make a honey rich in mineral salts. It is essential for bees, thus all biodiversity, hence why EcoTree chooses to plant it.

Silver Fir - Overview

Silver Fir - Overview

It is the tallest tree in Europe and its trunk can span 2m in diameter. Its trunk is straight and its branches horizontal. Its bark is smooth, silvery grey with small pockets of resin, and it cracks with age. Its leaves are dark green coloured needles above, marked by a strong midrib below, separating two silvery white bands. The male flowers, formed under its shoots, are small, bright yellow conical catkins, whereas its female flowers, which produce cones, are green and bud at the top of its twigs. Its taproots adapt to relatively wet and heavy soils which they stabilise. They make firs as a species much less vulnerable to windy uprooting than spruces.
This species is no longer widely used as a Christmas tree because of its sensitivity to spring frost and because its branches are not as thick as those of the Nordmann fir.
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Silver Fir

Silver Fir - Species requirements

A thermophilic species, the fir is, after the yew, the most shade-tolerant species. A fir seed germinates with barely 1% daylight. Subject to competition against dominant trees, a young silver fir tree can put its own development on hold for 100 to 200 years while it waits for more favourable conditions. It is sensitive to early and late frosts, as well as to drought.

Silver Fir Wood

Silver fir wood is white with a pink tint and popular for making framework and joinery products. The fir's wood is often overlooked in favour of spruce wood, as it's considered to be lower quality. However, it has excellent technological qualities and several other advantages over spruce. Its fecundity, durability, and weather resistance make it suitable for humid environments, such as in underground and hydraulic construction, and making glulam, windows, or saunas.

Silver Fir Symbolism

The flowers of the fir represent a lifted spirit, the spiritual ideal. This evergreen tree is a herald that encourages us to continue down our path, to endure life's problems as its branches endure the weight of snow. The tree symbolises the energy of resistance and the light of hope which it gives to those who know how to capture it. This makes it the ideal gift, a "good luck" gift, to bid courage and strength and, above all, to insist on never giving up halfway - regardless of the obstacles.

Gift a tree to convey your encouragement, gift a silver fir! An eco-friendly lucky charm!