Several of the firs are short-lived when planted in open exposure. The present limits will only permit the mention of those that have done well over large areas of the country.
Abies concolor stands well at the head in withstanding heat, cold, and drought. It is popular over the Eastern States, and is hardy and specially beautiful in the West. As its name indicates, it is even-colored through the year and a thing of beauty at all times. It should be more extensively grown and planted.
The red fir (Pseudotsuga Douglasii) is quite variable as found in different parts of the Rocky Mountains and the Black Hills. As received from the Black Hills it is the most rapid grower yet tested among the conifers, and the most defiant to extremes of heat, drought, and cold. The leaves are also longer, broader, and thicker than on trees from Colorado, and the whole habit is denser and more compact.
As found in Colorado it also runs into variations, some of which have been propagated under special names, such as compacta, fastigiata, glauca, and pendula. It is peculiarly a valuable tree for ornamental planting in the West and East. Horticulturally it is classed with the firs, but botanically it is placed between the spruce and hemlock.
East of the lakes the balsam fir (Abies balsamea) and such foreign species as A. Nordmanniana and A. Pichta are favorites in park and lawn planting, but they are shortlived at the West.