This tree is one of the four true firs in the Park. They are called "true" firs to distinguish them from the Douglas Fir which in reality is not a fir at all but a distinct tree in itself.
Three of these "true" firs grow at lower elevations but the Alpine Fir, as its name implies, is an inhabitant of the high country, being very prominent in Paradise Valley and other regions from about 5,000 feet to timberline. Here we find it growing in groups--rarely singly-as if for mutual protection from the elements. It is exceedingly beautiful for its form is long, compact and very symetrical. The branches, heavily clothed with light green needles, droop slightly due to the heavy snow that weights them down during the greater portion of the year. This enables the tree to shed the snow much like the steep roofs that are common on all the buildings in the Park.
The cones are very much smaller than the other firs, being little over two inches long and before maturity of a deep purple color. As they ripen, a process which takes two years, they turn brown, finally disintegrating and scattering the seeds over the snow, leaving the central core, spire-like on the branches.
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