Abstract Decline of sacred fir ( Abies religiosa) trees in the high elevation forest park, Desierto de los Leones, located south of Mexico City, is described. Trees located in the windward zone (exposed to air masses from Mexico City) were the most severely affected, especially trees at the distal ends of ravines. Examination of tree growth rings indicated decreases in ring widths for the past 30 years. Polluted air from Mexico City may be an important causal factor in fir decline. Drought, due to excessive removal of soil water, insects, mites and pathogens, and poor forest management are possible contributing and interactive factors in fir decline.