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Abies amabilis - Douglas. ex Forbes.                
                 
Common Name Red Fir,Pacific silver fir
Family Pinaceae
Synonyms
Known Hazards None known
Habitats High mountain slopes and benches, going down to sea-level in the north of its range[82]. The best specimens grow in deep moist soils and cool wet air conditions such as fog belts[229].
Range North-western N. America - Alaska to Oregon.
Edibility Rating  
Medicinal Rating  
Care
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Full shade Semi-shade Full sun

Summary       

Physical Characteristics       
 icon of manicon of cone
Abies amabilis is an evergreen Tree growing to 30 m (98ft) by 5 m (16ft) at a slow rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 5. It is in leaf 12-Jan, and the seeds ripen in October. The flowers are monoecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but both sexes can be found on the same plant) and are pollinated by Wind.

USDA hardiness zone : 4-8


Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and can grow in heavy clay soil. Suitable pH: acid and neutral soils. It can grow in full shade (deep woodland) semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil. The plant is not wind tolerant.
It cannot tolerate atmospheric pollution.

Abies amabilis Red Fir,Pacific silver fir


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User_talk:Wsiegmund
Abies amabilis Red Fir,Pacific silver fir
   
Habitats       
Woodland Garden Canopy;
Edible Uses                                         
Edible Parts: Inner bark.
Edible Uses: Gum;  Tea.

Young shoot tips are used as a substitute for tea[177, 183]. The pitch obtained from the bark can be hardened (probably by immersing it in cold water[K]) and used as a chewing gum[257]. Inner bark[257]. No further information is given, but inner bark can be dried, ground into a powder and then used with grain flours etc to make bread and other preparations[257].
Medicinal Uses
Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.



This plant was used quite widely by native North American Indians. An infusion of the bark was used as a tonic and to treat stomach ailments, TB, haemorrhoids and various minor complaints[257]. The pitch, or resin, was also used to treat colds, sore throats etc[257]. The bark of this tree contains blisters that are filled with a resin called 'Canadian Balsam'[226]. Although the report does not mention the uses of this resin, it can almost certainly be used in the same ways as the resin of A. balsamea, as detailed below:- The resin obtained from this tree (see 'Uses notes' below) has been used throughout the world and is a very effective antiseptic and healing agent. It is used as a healing and analgesic protective covering for burns, bruises, wounds and sores[213, 222, 226]. It is also used to treat sore nipples[213] and is said to be one of the best curatives for a sore throat[245]. The resin is also antiscorbutic, diuretic, stimulant and tonic[4, 171, 222]. It is used internally in propriety mixtures to treat coughs and diarrhoea, though taken in excess it is purgative[238]. A warm liquid of the gummy sap was drunk as a treatment for gonorrhoea[212]. A tea made from the leaves is antiscorbutic[4, 171]. It is used in the treatment of coughs, colds and fevers[222]. The leaves and young shoots are best harvested in the spring and dried for later use[238].
Other Uses
Gum;  Wood.

The boughs are fragrant and can be hung in the home as an air freshener[257]. Wood - hard, light, not strong, close grained, not very durable. It is used for framing small buildings but is not strong enough for larger buildings. It is also used for crates, pulp etc[46, 61, 82, 226, 229]. This tree yields the resin 'Canadian Balsam'[226]. The report does not mention the uses of this balsam, but the following are the ways that it is used when obtained from A. balsamea:- The balsamic resin 'Balm of Gilead'[11, 46] or 'Canada Balsam' according to other reports[64, 226, 238] is obtained during July and August from blisters in the bark or by cutting pockets in the wood[222]. Another report says that it is a turpentine[171]. It is used medicinally and in dentistry, also in the manufacture of glues, candles and as a cement for microscopes and slides - it has a high refractive index resembling that of glass[11, 46, 64, 82, 222, 226, 238]. The average yield is about 8 - 10 oz per tree[171]. The resin is also a fixative in soaps and perfumery[171, 238].
Cultivation details                                         
Requires a good moist but not water-logged soil in a sheltered position[1]. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Plants are very shade tolerant[11, 81] but growth is slower in dense shade[81]. Intolerant of atmospheric pollution[1]. Prefers slightly acid conditions down to a pH of about 5[200]. Prefers growing on a north-facing slope[200]. Trees are somewhat shallow rooted and are therefore susceptible to strong winds[229]. Grows best in the Perthshire valleys of Scotland[11]. It does very well on glacial moraines in Scotland[81]. When grown in an open position, the tree clothes itself to the ground with gracefully drooping branches, though on the whole, this species does not grow well in Britain[11]. Trees have been of variable growth in this country and seem to be short-lived[185]. The best and fastest growing specimens are to be found in the north and far west of the country[185]. Growth in girth can be very quick, 1.8 metres in 35 years has been recorded[185]. Trees should be planted into their permanent positions when they are quite small, between 30 and 90cm in height. Larger trees will check badly and hardly put on any growth for several years. This also badly affects root development and wind resistance[200]. The crushed leaves have an odour like orange peel[11]. Plants are strongly outbreeding, self-fertilized seed usually grows poorly[200]. They hybridize freely with other members of this genus[200]. This species is often confused with A. nordmanniana[11]. A very ornamental plant[1]. Trees are sometimes grown as 'Christmas trees'[200]. Plants are susceptible to injury by aphis[11].
                                                                                 
Propagation                                         
Seed - sow early February in a greenhouse or outdoors in March[78]. Germination is often poor, usually taking about 6 - 8 weeks[78]. Stratification is said to produce a more even germination so it is probably best to sow the seed in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe in the autumn[80, 113]. The seed remains viable for up to 5 years if it is well stored[113]. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on for at least their first winter in pots. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Alternatively, if you have sufficient seed, it is possible to sow in an outdoor seedbed. One report says that it is best to grow the seedlings on in the shade at a density of about 550 plants per square metre[78] whilst another report says that they are best grown on in a sunny position[80].
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Expert comment                                         
 
      
Author                                         
Douglas. ex Forbes.
                                                                                 
Botanical References                                         
1160200
                                                                                 
Links / References                                         

  [K] Ken Fern Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.

[1]F. Chittendon. RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956
Comprehensive listing of species and how to grow them. Somewhat outdated, it has been replaces in 1992 by a new dictionary (see [200]).
[4]Grieve. A Modern Herbal.
Not so modern (1930's?) but lots of information, mainly temperate plants.
[11]Bean. W. Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement.
A classic with a wealth of information on the plants, but poor on pictures.
[46]Uphof. J. C. Th. Dictionary of Economic Plants.
An excellent and very comprehensive guide but it only gives very short descriptions of the uses without any details of how to utilize the plants. Not for the casual reader.
[61]Usher. G. A Dictionary of Plants Used by Man.
Forget the sexist title, this is one of the best books on the subject. Lists a very extensive range of useful plants from around the world with very brief details of the uses. Not for the casual reader.
[64]Howes. F. N. Vegetable Gums and Resins.
A very good book dealing with the subject in a readable way.
[78]Sheat. W. G. Propagation of Trees, Shrubs and Conifers.
A bit dated but a good book on propagation techniques with specific details for a wide range of plants.
[80]McMillan-Browse. P. Hardy Woody Plants from Seed.
Does not deal with many species but it is very comprehensive on those that it does cover. Not for casual reading.
[81]Rushforth. K. Conifers.
Deals with conifers that can be grown outdoors in Britain. Good notes on cultivation and a few bits about plant uses.
[82]Sargent. C. S. Manual of the Trees of N. America.
Two volumes, a comprehensive listing of N. American trees though a bit out of date now. Good details on habitats, some details on plant uses. Not really for the casual reader.
[113]Dirr. M. A. and Heuser. M. W. The Reference Manual of Woody Plant Propagation.
A very detailed book on propagating trees. Not for the casual reader.
[171]Hill. A. F. Economic Botany.
Not very comprehensive, but it is quite readable and goes into some a bit of detail about the plants it does cover.
[177]Kunkel. G. Plants for Human Consumption.
An excellent book for the dedicated. A comprehensive listing of latin names with a brief list of edible parts.
[183]Facciola. S. Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants.
Excellent. Contains a very wide range of conventional and unconventional food plants (including tropical) and where they can be obtained (mainly N. American nurseries but also research institutes and a lot of other nurseries from around the world.
[185]Mitchell. A. F. Conifers in the British Isles.
A bit out of date (first published in 1972), but an excellent guide to how well the various species of conifers grow in Britain giving locations of trees.
[200]Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
[212]Craighead. J., Craighead. F. and Davis. R. A Field Guide to Rocky Mountain Wildflowers
Excellent little pocket guide to the area, covering 590 species and often giving details of their uses.
[213]Weiner. M. A. Earth Medicine, Earth Food.
A nice book to read though it is difficult to look up individual plants since the book is divided into separate sections dealing with the different medicinal uses plus a section on edible plants. Common names are used instead of botanical.
[222]Foster. S. & Duke. J. A. A Field Guide to Medicinal Plants. Eastern and Central N. America.
A concise book dealing with almost 500 species. A line drawing of each plant is included plus colour photographs of about 100 species. Very good as a field guide, it only gives brief details about the plants medicinal properties.
[226]Lauriault. J. Identification Guide to the Trees of Canada
Very good on identification for non-experts, the book also has a lot of information on plant uses.
[229]Elias. T. The Complete Trees of N. America. Field Guide and Natural History.
A very good concise guide. Gives habitats, good descriptions, maps showing distribution and a few of the uses. It also includes the many shrubs that occasionally reach tree proportions.
[238]Bown. D. Encyclopaedia of Herbs and their Uses.
A very well presented and informative book on herbs from around the globe. Plenty in it for both the casual reader and the serious student. Just one main quibble is the silly way of having two separate entries for each plant.
[245]Genders. R. Scented Flora of the World.
An excellent, comprehensive book on scented plants giving a few other plant uses and brief cultivation details. There are no illustrations.
[257]Moerman. D. Native American Ethnobotany
Very comprehensive but terse guide to the native uses of plants. Excellent bibliography, fully referenced to each plant, giving a pathway to further information. Not for the casual reader.

Readers comment                                         
 
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Subject : Abies amabilis  
             

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