Subalpine Fir, needles, bark, form . . . (Abies lasiocarpa), (X.22.2007)
I like to call Subalpine Fir by a name that reflects its striking form,
Spire Fir. It is the mostly widely distributed Fir of North America.
In contrast, in the Alps—where Norwegian Spruce occupies similar higher,
exposed, habitats—there is no native conifer that cuts such a slender
profile. (Spire Firs, I would suppose because of this form, also make
a different, higher pitch sound when the winds began to blow.) Because
of the thin, ash-gray bark (pictured above), shallow roots and many
lower branches, Spire Fir is very sensitive to fire.
—On the road in the American Northwest.