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What are some facts about fir trees?

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Quick Answer

Fir trees are evergreen trees of the family Pinaceae that have flexible needles and produce cones. They are coniferous trees and grow up to 90 feet tall.

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Full Answer

There are over 50 species of fir trees, including the Red fir, the Santa Lucia fir, the Balsam fir, the Alpine fir and the European fir.

Fir trees have needles that resemble toothbrush bristles and branches arranged in a pyramid-like structure. The leaves are flattened to the point of appearing almost pressed. The undersides of fir leaves have two whitish, waxy strips while the upper surfaces are shiny.

The cones of fir trees are raised and cylindrical in shape. Female cones turn brown when they mature and disintegrate seeds near the end of autumn.

Old fir trees have thick, ridged bark, and younger firs have thin, smooth bark. Firs grow best in areas of high elevation in well-drained, moist soil. Full sunlight and plenty of water are also necessary for fir tree growth.

Fir trees are used as Christmas trees in North America. The wood is often chopped or pulverized to make wood pulp and mulch. It is also used to make stuffing for pillows and mattresses in some countries. Fir tree oils are used to make pine-scented fragrances in perfumes and commercial products.

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