|This broadly conical tree when young, becomes columnar and spreading with age. When young, bark is smooth and gray, then thick, corky, deeply ridged, reddish-brown. Sharp reddish-brown buds open to linear dark-green leaves, loosely apart on shoots. Bearing ovoid to conical female cones, to 4 inches long. A classic American fir, if you can't use a tree this large, there are many smaller cultivars, such as P. fletcheri.
A favorite Christmas tree too, this evergreen takes wind and a variety of soils (except swampy) Var. glauca produces smaller cones, with reflexed bracts. The needles are blue-glaucous, and the gray or black bark is thinner and more scaly.