The white fir is native to the mountainous regions of the Pacific coast to central Colorado, and from central Oregon and southeastern Idaho to northern Mexico. They can grow in a variety of environments, from high elevation with long, snowy winters to lower elevation with warmer weather and lower precipitation. It is a monoecious species, with densely grouped reddish male cones and larger brown female cones. It is a genetically adaptable and plastic species that has been known to hybridize with other firs. The white fir has two primary uses: in construction as timber, and as Christmas trees. As such, they are commercially grown and harvested. The biggest threat to the white fir are predatory animals. The fir engraver beetle, for example, can damage up to 2.4 million cubic meters of harvest stock per year. Rodents such as the pocket gopher and grazers such as deer can also stunt their growth, and in extreme cases, outright kill mature trees. Our specimen in New Haven serves an aesthetic rather than commercial purpose and seems to have thankfully remained safe from predators.
Emily Gudbranson and Kevin Su