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Northern Arizona University Arboretum

Brad Blake
Northern Arizona University
PO Box 4087
Flagstaff, AZ 86011
Phone (928) 523-9100
Fax (928) 523-1075
Email Brad Blake

Philip Patterson
Northern Arizona University
PO Box 4087
Flagstaff, AZ 86011
(928) 523-9103
Email Philip Patterson

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Corkbark Fir

corkbar fir treeAbies lasiocarpa var. arizonica

Arizona Native

These trees are native to the higher elevations above 8,500 feet of the San Francisco Peaks and other mountain ranges from southern Arizona to the Yukon. They can grow to over 100 feet in height with diameters over 2 feet, but typically reaches 30 to 60 feet in height, and 6 inches to 18 inches in trunk diameter. The largest Corkbark Fir grows on the Lincoln National Forest in New Mexico; it is 95 feet tall and 13 feet, 1 inch in circumference.

The bark is usually yielding and tough, not brittle or flaky. The color is pale-ash gray, creamy-white, or yellow-white. The bark is irregularly ridged or checkered, sometimes very thick, soft, corky, or spongy. Touch the bark and you will get an idea why its common name is “corkbark” fir.

In windy, exposed, high locations Corkbark Fir may be dwarfed or deformed like bristlecone pine is, in such a setting. Corkbark Fir is the lightest-weight American wood, weighing only 17 pounds per cubic foot, and is correspondingly weak, so it has little or no use for lumber.

For more information on Corkbark Fir visit the links below:

Corkbark Fir of the Southern Rocky Mountains


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2009 Arizona Board of Regents, Northern Arizona University
South San Francisco Street, Flagstaff, Arizona 86011