trees along steep hillside overlooking Sunrise Lake
-waxy upper surface of needles
-stomata on underside
-needles block the view of the twig from above
I'm pretty sure this is Abies amabilis Pacific Silver Fir
Down far below is the White River which flows about 75 miles (121 km) from its source, the Emmons Glacier on Mount Rainier, to join the Puyallup River at Sumner.
Not sure if this is a Pacific Silver Fir. Its needles resemble Douglas Fir needles but the branches seem much more sparse than that of a Douglas Fir. Also, the ends of the needles were bright green.
In a couple feet of snow, this pine was just a sapling observed on the path from Longmire at Mt. Rainier. It has a bark pattern with grey/silver blotches, with pines that do not go all the way around the branches, unlike a douglas fir. Observed in a primarily coniferous and some old growth forest area with nearby hotsprings, there were other pacific silver firs around as well as yews and douglas firs.
Very geometric and rigid looking at first glance of young tree (5-10yrs). Needles arrayed in all 180 degrees above the branch, leaving the bottom 180 degrees and the underside of the branch bare. Prominant two rows of stomates underneath each needle. This Old growth stand was above the snow level on march 31, dominated by douglas fir, Western red cedar, and Western hemlock, and to a lesser degree pacific silver fir. Stand was also home to mountain hemlock, and western yew. Snow on the ground was deep. Rich iron deposits were around due to the stand being adjacent to the longmire meadow and hotspring. Possible edge effect due to openness of adjacent meadow, lots of apparently windthrown old growth trees.
Abies amabilis, commonly known as the Pacific silver fir, is a fir native to the Pacific Northwest of North America, occurring in the Pacific Coast Ranges and the Cascade Range from the extreme southeast of Alaska, through western British Columbia, Washington and Oregon, to the extreme northwest of California. It is also commonly referred to as the white fir, red fir, lovely fir, amabilis fir, Cascades fir, or silver fir. It grows at altitudes of sea...