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Noble Fir in Goat Marsh

Main characteristics

Coordinates: 46.1771 N 122.2816 W (possible mistake by 1km)
No:176        (list of all attractions)
Address:North America, United States, Washington, Cowlitz County, to the north-east from Goat Marsh wetland 7 km west-south-west from the crater of Mount St.Helens, at the height of 900 - 1000 m. Exact location not given.
Species:Noble fir (Abies procera Rehder 1940
Height:89.9 m
Diameter:1.92 m
Volume:87.7 m3
Crown spread:13 m

Noble firs are beautiful, impressive trees - the largest firs. It is possible that highest noble firs fairly recently exceeded 100 m height but today the highest tree of this species grows at the Goat Marsh - in 1989 it was 89.9 m tall. Unfortunately this tree is dead by now and maybe even is not standing anymore.

The noblest of all firs

Noble fir is beautiful tree with extremely slim trunk - trunks of sequoias of similar height have almost two times bigger diameter.

This slenderness is made possible by extreme lightness, toughness and flexibility of the wood. Wood of noble fir was used for building of early airplanes and is much sought material also today.

Natural groves of this tree are met only in the states of Oregon, Washington and also California. Most impressive stands of noble fir are located around the Mount St.Helens.

In Harmony Falls grove northeast from Mount St. Helens there was known 99 m tall noble fir before 1980. This tree is not standing anymore - it was destroyed by the catastrophic eruption of Mount St. Helens.

Goat Marsh

Goat Marsh is beautiful natural area located some 7 - 8 km west from the crater of Mount St. Helens. This wetland has been created by a pyroclastic flow (or several flows) from volcano - it blocked local streams some 300 - 450 years ago.

To the north from wetlands there is rising especially impressive forest. This is unique stand of noble fir with an area of 28 ha. Trees are 325 - 350 years old and have miraculously escaped the devastating eruptions of Mount St. Helens.

This forest has one of the highest wood densities per hectare in the world - one hectare contains up to 5,752 m3 of wood. This result is exceeded only in some groves of Californian coastal redwoods.

Stand was discovered in the 1950s and since then is managed by USDA Forest Service. Here was established Goat Marsh Research Natural Area and the stand of noble fir is used for educational and research needs.

Goat Marsh stand contains also Goat Marsh Giant - largest noble fir by volume (126 m3). Here grows also Douglas fir with some trees up to 93.3 m tall.


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