Guatemalan Fir Facts
- The magnificent Guatemalan Fir remains a species of tree endemic to portions of Central America. Its endemic range also extends the furthest south of any species in its genus.
- This tree lists as Endangered by the IUCN. The primary threats to the continuation of this species remain habitat loss and also unsustainable exploitation practices.
- The largest known remaining concentration of the Guatemalan Fir sits within the confines of the forest of Los Altos de San Miguel, in Guatemala.
- Most countries in which the species still exists have also banned logging of this species. However, illegal logging still occurs.
Guatemalan Fir Physical Description
The Guatemalan Fir grows as a rather conically shaped evergreen tree species. Mature specimens also typically attain a height of roughly 115 ft (35 m).
The trunk of this species averages roughly 36 in (90 cm) in girth. The bark of the tree typically shows a rather dark brown to black in color and grows divided into plates.
Its branches generally grow in a predominantly horizontal orientation. The leaves tend to be comb-like in shape, and a dark green in color.
Commonly, the blooms of the Guatemalan Fir have a distinctive violet color. The seeds develop within a small nut that appears light brown in color.
- Kingdom: Plantae
- Phylum: Pinophyta
- Class: Pinopsida
- Order: Pinales
- Family: Pinaceae
- Genus: Abies
- Species: A. guatemalensis
Guatemalan Fir Habitat and Ecology
The remarkable Guatemalan Fir exists natively through a moderate range, extending from southern Mexico to El Salvador and Honduras in the south.
This tree typically grows in deep soil that is rather fertile. Most commonly this habitat consists of soil that is volcanic in origin.
The species also most commonly appears at altitudes between 5,905-12,140 ft (1,800-3,700 m) above sea level. It usually proliferates best in cool, moist climates.
The species was once a primary component of both the cloud forests and coniferous forests within its endemic range. Much of the land that was once the primary habitat of the Guatemalan Fir has now been taken for agricultural purposes by local populations.