Fir at risk

DAY 106 (20 JULY) – Spanish fir (Abies pinsapo) (Vejer, Spain)

It’s not very Spanish to put explanatory signs in public places, or indeed anywhere. Unlike in the UK where it is a thriving national custom, of course. But a plaque on the wall in front of this striking tree overlooking the valley to the north of Vejer tells us: ‘Abies pinsapo, sembrado en 1980, especie a proteger’. So it was planted in 1980 and is a protected species.

Reading more, I find it’s native to southern Spain (in the Grazalema mountains for example) and to the Moroccan Rif mountains – and particularly at risk from forest fires. Considered by some as the Andalusian regional tree, I think its long cylindrical cones look like potatoes stuck vertically on a Christmas tree. But don’t tell the locals.

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