Noble fir is native to a limited area on the Pacific Coast region of North America, growing in the Cascades from the northern border of the state of Washington south to the border between Oregon and California. This is a heavy rainfall area with thick snow cover in winter. Noble fir grows in mixed forest with other conifers. In contrast to most firs, it can live for as long as 300 years.
Noble fir is one of the most beautiful species of the genus, the name perfectly describing its appearance. Huge numbers are grown in Denmark for use in the florist trade, and in Britain there are small plantations producing timber.
The grey- or blue-green needles are curved, which helps in identifying the species. On different parts of the shoot the needles can spread comb-like or be shoot-covering, and they dry without falling. The bracts of the large cones are prominent and reflexed.
Few attempts have been made to grow Noble fir in Finland. Given seeds of suitable provenance it could perhaps be successfully grown in southern Finland, almost certainly along the coast, at least. Noble fir doesn’t develop a deep main root; instead the root plate is widespread and shallow, which can lead to problems for young trees in dry periods. Native to snowy mountain areas, the fir is also tender to cold spring winds and spring sunshine when young.