American Univesity of Beirut

Cilician Fir

Abies cilicica, شوح​​


Altitude: 1000-2000 m
Month of Collection: October

Delivery of Orders:

  • Small trees for reforestation: $3/tree (Oct – Dec)
  • Medium-sized trees for landscaping: $10/tree (any time)
    • ​​For more information about the tree, (Click here).
The Fir tree may be the easiest to describe because it is already familiar to all as the Christmas tree. Of approximately fifty Fir species that grow throughout the world, one, the Cilician Fir, is restricted in its natural distribution to the mountains of northern Lebanon and western Syria, and to the Anti-Taurus Mountains of eastern Turkey. The species does not tolerate hot temperatures. These beautiful trees can be seen in their natural setting in Qammoua and the jurds of Michmich.

The Cilician Fir has a symmetrical pyramidal shape and grows 25 to 35 meters high. Its aromatic needles are short and glossy, with two white bands on their underside. Cilician Firs are slow-growing, long-lived trees that do not start bearing cones until they are at least twenty years old. The cones, which take more than one year to mature, can be easily seen growing on the topmost branches of mature trees. When the cones mature, they open up and shed their seeds with the first winter storm. The seeds actually manage to fly a short distance, because they have wings. 
Perhaps the most difficult part of growing Fir trees is collecting the seeds, which are borne in cones that grow so high they cannot be reached easily. To collect cones, one has to climb to the top of the tree, which can be complicated, due to the dense branch arrangement and the sticky resin. In some countries, shooting the cones with a rifle is used as an alternative to tree climbing. Another cone collection technique entails using helicopters to lift cone-rake devices and lower them over the crowns of cone-bearing trees.

  • This text is an exerpt from the book Trees of Lebanon©, which includes additional information on how to grow and care for the described tree.

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