Ethnobotanic: Native Americans used white fir for medicine, building material, and for making household items. The needles were used to relieve pain caused by rheumatism and pulmonary ailments. The resin was used to heal cuts, sores, and boils and was also decocted for the treatment of venereal diseases. Bark infusions were used to remedy tuberculosis.
Bark was used to dye buckskin a tan color. Branches were used to line storage containers and to make pipe stems. The plant was used to decorate ceremonies and houses.
Ornamental: White fir is a popular species in the Christmas tree industry. It is drought and heat resistant and is often used for plantings in the rural and suburb landscapes of the northern United States.
Rehabilitation: White fir is used to revegetate disturbed forest sites where it naturally occurs. It is also an appropriate choice for use on roadcuts due to its ability to stabilize soil.
Wildlife: White fir habitats are included in the summer and winter ranges of deer, elk, and bear. Mountain beaver habitat use has been correlated to white fir abundance. Many bird species, including bald eagle, northern spotted owl, brown creeper, and red-breasted nuthatches are associated with white fir habitat types.
Mule deer and black-tailed deer browse new foliage in the spring. Porcupines consume white fir bark and can destroy saplings. Mice eat snow-level suckers in the winter while pocket gophers eat seedlings in the winter and fall. Blue grouse consume the needles. Grouse, chipmunks, mice, flying squirrels, chickadees, crossbills, and Clark’s nutcracker consume white fir seeds. The Douglas squirrel caches white fir cones during late summer and fall.
Hollowed-out trunks provide protection and shelter for many small mammals including weasels, porcupines, and black bears.
Wood Products: White fir wood is used for all-purpose construction materials like framing, plywood, and pulpwood. Its straight grain makes the wood appropriate for use as poles and pilings. White fir is also used for firewood although it does not produce much heat.
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