Grand firs are enormous trees that can well grow to be even 100 meters high. In that case diameter of base would be about ten meters. The Tree is of conical form. Commonly grand firs are about 60 Ė 70 meters high and the diameter of the base is about eight meters. Grand firs have an extensive root system, which covers a large area. The root system donít penetrate the ground very deep and for that reason a grand fir growing in the edge of the woods could fall down in storm. There isnít much undergrowth under branches of grand firs, because the branches are huge and thick and shut out nearly all sunlight. Here and there however small glades exist where growing conditions are advantageous for many other plants. Usually the undermost branches are located in height of about five to ten meters. Needles are dark-green and about two centimeters long. Grand firs change the needles once every five to ten years, then old needles turn yellow and drop off giving space for new ones. Of course, not all needles would drop off simultaneously, but grand fir has needles of several ages, so only part of them fall off at a time. An old forest ground could have a tens of centimeters thick layer of old and decaying needles. Trunk of the tree is dark-brown and coarse. Saplings could grow two meters in a year and after ten years growth slows down, whereupon the fir grows only 40 Ė 60 centimeters in a year.
The Wood of a grand fir considerably resembles that of a juniper and is easily worked on, but stiff. Wood is also very sappy and therefore it endures decomposition well. That makes it a very good construction material. Drawback of the sappiness is its sensitivity to fire.
Grand firs mainly grow in northern coniferous forest belt of Meln. Most common they are in areas of present Alcandia and Velnor. Substratum must be rather exuberant and nutritious forest land for the firs to prosper. Grand firs donít grow in rocky and barren areas.
Wood of the grand fir is commonly used in Alcandia and Velnor as a construction material and a raw material for many items demanding endurance. For example masts of ships. A mast must endure strong drawing and bending without breaking. Grand fir is also excellent firewood, which burns well after ignition even if it would be fresh.
Sap is easily collected in the springs by cutting the trunk a few centimeters deep. The tree then tries repair itself by secreting sap on the cut. The sap is very inflammable and it is commonly used as a substitute of tar and pitch or additive in ammunitions of catapults or other siege and throwing weapons. The sap is also very sticky, so also for that reason it is excellent for ammunitions. Other usages for the sap are beautiful ornaments, which are manufactured of the dried sap by carving.
Branches of grand firs offer advantageous living conditions to many animals and plants like birds, small mammals, mosses and lichens.
Written by : MoRPrintable version of this text
Translated by : MoR