Friday, July 16, 2010

The Firs

Abies

A genus of 50 species of trees that is related to the Spruces and Pines. The Firs are all evergreen and most but not all prefer moist, fertile, neutral to acidic, well drained soil in full sun. Young trees prefer shelter from strong winds and most species of Firs do tolerate some shade.
Firs should be pruned in spring whether to limbed up for clearance or tree forms pruned to a single leafed which is recommended. Firs always look better with dead shaded out wood cleaned out from tree interiors.
Seed should be sown immediately upon ripening then stratified for 3 months at 40 F for better results. It is recommended to gather the short lived seeds during September while the cones are still closed them plant right away in moist soil. Cultivars can be grafted in winter.
The timber of most Firs is somewhat soft and used in the making of paper, though some species with better lumber are used for contrauction, panelling, plywood and crates.
Firs make poor firewood only giving off about 13 Btu per cord for heat.

* photo taken on August 2009 near Wilkes Barre, PA

* photo taken on July 17 2010 @ Morris Arboretum, Philly, PA

* photos taken on July 31 2011 in Hyde Park, NY






* historical archive photos











Abies alba ( Silver Fir )
The tallest tree native to Europe with its natural range being in the central and southern mountains of that continent though widely planted and thriving further north and in the British Isles also. Heights above 140 feet are common and it is strongly pyramidal. Records include: fastest recorded growth rate - 4 feet; 20 years - 66 ( usually closer to 40 ) feet; 50 years - trunk diameter of 2.3 feet; 100 years - 180 feet with trunk diameter of 6.5 feet; largest on record - 235 x 70 feet with a trunk diameter of 11 feet ( Black Forest, Germany ); largest in Pennsylvania - 84 feet in Philly ( a large tree also grows in Gettysburg National Cemetary ). Very large trees over 170 feet and up to 10 feet in trunk diameter are reported from England where it thrives and is often planted. The Silver Fir can live up to 800 years.
The needles, up to 1.5 inches in length, are glossy deep green above and silver below.
The cylindrical cones up to 6 inches in length ripen to brown.
The bark is ash white and smooth, cracking into plates with age.
The timber was used for ship masts in ancient Greece and Rome and is more recently used for construction and telephone poles.
Hardy zones 3 to 6. Prefers a cool climate; in mild winter climates it may begin new growth too early in spring then get damaged by frost. Shade tolerant.

* photo from family photo album taken in Germany 1973

* photo of unknown internet source

* historic archive photos




'Pendula'
Similar with strong central leader and hanging branchlets. It typically reaches around 10 x 4 feet in 10 years, eventually up to 50 feet.
The foliage is deep green.

* photo taken on Mar 18 2017 @ Brookside Gardens, Wheaton, MD

* historic archive photo


Abies amabilis ( Pacific Silver Fir )
A tall, beautiful, dense, graceful tree to 180 feet that is native to western North America ( from Ketchikan, Alaska to Hazelton, British Columbia; south to northern California ). Some records include: 20 years - 66 x 13 feet; 30 years - 73 feet with a trunk diameter of 1.5 feet; 50 years - diameter of 2.7 feet; largest on record - 270 x 30 feet with a trunk diameter of 9 feet. Narrow conical in habit with drooping branches. The Pacific Silver Fir can live up to 810 years. Very large trees already grow in the British Isles, especially Ireland where not native. It also grows in more continental climates than is found in the wild, however more slowly; a tree slightly exceeds 100 feet in Athens, Ohio.
The needles, up to 1.5 inches in length, are glossy deep green above with gray-white stripes below. The needles are carried on the upper sides of the branches, pointing towards the tips.
The egg shaped cones up to 6 inches in length are red-purple ripening to brown.
The bark is silvery white and is smooth even on mature trees.
Hardy zones 4 to 8 preferring a cool, moist, maritime climates and acidic soil.

* photo taken by T.H. Gill @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database

* historical archive photos








'Spreading Star'
A low spreading shrub with horizontal branches, to 3.3 x 17 feet in 10 years. In 50 years it will be no taller but continue to spread. Grows up to 8 inches per year.
The foliage is rich green in color. Prefers partial shade in the east.

Abies balsamea ( Balsam Fir )
A conical coniferous tree reaching up to 70 feet that is native northern North America ( from near to the arctic circle in far northern Alberta to Moosonee, Ontario to most of Quebec to the northern coast of Labrador; south to central Minnseota to central Michigan to northeast Pennsylvania ). It is native to all northern Ontario except for the Hudson Bay Lowlands. The Balsam Fir is among the worlds hardiest trees. Some records include: fastest recorded growth rate - 3 feet; largest on record - 150 x 50 feet with a trunk diameter of 5 feet; largest in New Zealand - 150 x 50 feet with a trunk diameter of 5 feet. A very large tree is among numerous state champion trees that grow within Pennsylvania's Gettysburg National Cemetary. The Balsam Fir can live up to 250 years. The Balsam Fir is very commonly grown for Christmas trees.
The linear needles, up to 1.5 inches in length, are lustrous deep green above and whitish below.
The cylindrical cones are up to 4 inches in length and are purple blue in color.
This tree is an important source of timber and is also the most commonly tree used for wood pulp in Canada.
Hardy zones 0 to 5; the Balsam Fir hates the heat and performs the worst of any Fir in zones 6 to 8. It does tolerate swampy sites. Grows very well in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba if grown from seed originating from wild populations in that region only. In recent years, the Balsam Woolly Adelgid insect has been wrecking havoc on Balsam Fir in parts of its range.

* photo of unknown internet source

* photos of unknown internet source


* photo taken on August 3 2010 @ University of Guelph Arboretum, Ontario

* photo taken by R.K. LeBarron @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database

* photos taken by H.F. Marco @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database


* photo taken by R.K. LeBarron @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database

* photos taken on July 14 2016 in Tobermory, ON

* historical archive photos






'Caerulea'
Silvery blue foliage

subsp 'Canaan'
Native to West Virginia; this Fir also grows much better in Ohio than regular Balsam Fir. Its begins growth later in the spring so that it is not prone to late spring frost damage as is common in Ohio. It is grown commercially on soils that are too wet to grow other christmas tree crops such as Fraser & Douglas Firs.

'Globosa'
Dwarf and mounded to 4 x 4 feet.

'Hudsonia'
A dwarf, rounded miniature shrub to 3.3 x 6.6 feet in 10 years. The foliage is rich green in 2 ranks. It tolerates some lime.

'Larry's Weeping'
Very attractive with blue-green foliage and a strongly weeping habit resembling Picea abies 'Pendula'. Some records include: 10 years - 10 x 3 feet ( if staked for first few years ).

'Nana'
Dwarf and mounded to 3 x 5 feet. Some records include: average growth rate - 3 inches; 5 years - 1 x 3 feet; 10 years - 2 x 5 feet.
The foliage is deep blue-green.

* photo taken by Milan Havlis ( havlis.cz )


'Weeping Larry' ( Weeping Balsam Fir )
Reaches up to 8 x 3 feet in 10 years, eventually more, with an upright leader and horizontal weeping sidebranches. Some records include: fastest growth rate - 1 foot.
The foliage is gray-green.

Abies boris-regelis ( Bulgarian Fir )
A moderate growing, dense, heavy branching, large tree to 140 feet, that is native to mountains from Bulgaria to Greece. Some records include: 20 years - 60 feet; largest on record - 200 x 50 feet with a trunk diameter of 6.6 feet. It may actually be a natural hybrid between Abies alba & A. cephalonica but does come true from seed.
The needles, up to 1.2 inches in length, are soft and glossy deep green.
Hardy zones 5 to 7.

* photo of unknown internet source



Abies bornmuelleri ( Turkish Fir )
A vigorous, very rare, attractive, large tree to 80 feet that is native to the mountains in Turkey that are south of the Black Sea. Some record include: 20 years - 66 feet; largest on record - 150 x 30 feet with a trunk diameter of 4 feet. It may be a natural hybrid between Abies cephanonica and A. nordmannii.
The needles, up to 1.7 inches in length, are deep green. The needles are densely arranged.
The bark is dark gray to black.
Hardy zones 4 to 7. It is very disease resistant, more heat tolerant than most Firs and also tolerant of late frosts.

* photos taken on Aug 25 2011 @ Scott Arboretum, Swarthmore College, PA



Abies bracteata ( Bristlecone Fir )
A tall, fast growing, lofty tree up to 150 feet in height that is native to a restricted range in the Santa Lucia Mountains in California. Some records include: 20 years - 66 x 17 feet; 40 years - 1.5 feet in diameter; 100 years - trunk diameter of 5 feet; largest on record - 200 x 40 feet with a trunk diameter of 6 feet; largest in England - 117 feet. The Bristlecone Fir is broadly pyramidal with a narrow spired crown. The branches curve gracefully and the branchlets droop.
The rigid, sharply pointed, linear needles, up to 4 inches in length, are very dark green above and silvery green below.
The egg shape cones up to 4 inches in length ripen to golden brown.
The bark is red-brown and smooth.
Hardy zones 7 to 9 though rare in cultivation. Tolerates hot summers and dry air but can be prone to late spring frosts.
An excellent tree for high elevations and is hardy in the British Isles north to Aberdeen.

* historical archive photos


* photo taken by Albert Everett Wieslander and the Marian Koshland Bioscience and Natural Resources Library


Abies cephalonica ( Greek Fir )
A large, handsome pyramidal tree reaching 80 feet or more that is native to mountains of central and southern Greece as well as Yugoslavia. After many years this tree eventually adopts a spreading habit. Some records include: 20 years - 66 x 13 feet; 33 years - 2 feet in trunk diameter; 55 years - 90 feet; 80 years - 117 feet with a trunk diameter of 3.3 feet; largest on record - 180 x 33 feet with a trunk diameter of 6.2 feet; largest in Pennsylvania - 94 feet at Morris Arboretum, Philadelphia.
The rigid, slighly curved needles are glossy, deep, rich green above and greenish-white below. They are up to 1.5 inches in length and are arranged spoke like on the branches. The needles on Greek Fir do have a sharp point unlike most Firs.
The cones are narrow, cylindrical up to 6 inches in length and greenish brown.
The gray-brown bark cracks into small square plates.
This tree was used in the past for the construction of ships.
This tree is immune to insects or disease and is drought tolerant.
Hardy zones 5 to 9, it survives at zone 4b Dominion Arboretum in Ottawa, Canada but lacks vigor there, only reaching 8 feet in 10 years. Tolerant of limestone soils, heat and pollution. Also grows vigorously ( to 130 feet or more ) in cooler maritime England. Can be prone to late spring frosts.

* photos taken on July 17 2010 @ Morris Arboretum, Philly, PA





* historical archive photo

* photos taken on Jul 18 2017 @ Dominion Arboretum, Ottawa, ON






* historical archive photos



'Meyers Dwarf'
Forms a spreading mound with shorter, bright green needles.
Reaches 2 x 4 feet in 10 years; largest on record - 3 x 10 feet.

Abies chensiensis ( Shensi Fir )
A spectacular, fast growing, pyramidal, lofty, stately, large tree, reaching up to 150 feet that is native to much of China and northern India where it is endangered. Some records include: 10 years - 20+ feet ( est ); largest on record - 235 x 50 feet with a trunk diameter of 8 feet.
The somewhat weeping, broad linear leaves are up to 3 ( rarely 4.5 ) inches in length. They are glossy bright green at first maturing to luxuriant very deep green.
The cylindrical cones are up to 4 inches in length and green.
Hardy zones 5 to 9. Originally thought to prefer cool summers though that seems false, since many are thriving between Pennsylvania and North Carolina where summers are very hot and humid. In fact a reasonably large tree of 70 feet thrives at Haverford College near Philadelphia.

Abies cilicica ( Cilician Fir )
A tall, conical to columnar tree, reaching up to 110 feet that is native to the Taurus Mountains in northern Lebanon, northern Syria and southeast Turkey where rare. Some records include: fastest recorded growth rate - 3 feet; 20 years - 50 x 9 feet; 89 years - 97 feet with a trunk diameter of 4 feet; largest on record - 150 x 30 feet with a trunk diameter of 6.5 feet; largest in New York State - 121 feet south of Islip; largest in New Jersey - 105 feet @ Princeton; largest in Massachussets - 102 feet near Boston; largest in Pennsylvania - 87 x 24 feet at Longwood Gardens in Chester Co. Trees up to 113 feet occur in England also where not native. Well adapted to the eastern U.S., it may even naturalize in places.
The large needles, up to 3 inches in length, are bright green above and gray-white below.
They point forward towards the tips of the stems.
The cylindrical cones are greenish-brown.
The bark is gray and fissured.
Hardy zones 5 to 7 and is tolerant of heat and heavy clay.

* photos taken on July 17 2010 @ Morris Arboretum, Philly, PA








* historical archive photo


Abies colimensis ( Calima Fir )
A conical tree reaching a maximum height of 100 feet, that is native to southwestern Mexico. The needles, up to 1.5 inches in length, are bluish.
The cones are purple and up to 5 inches.
The bark is smooth and dark brown.
Hardy north to zone 8

Abies concolor ( White Fir )
A large, fast growing, pyramidal, statuesque tree to 150 feet native to the western U.S. ( from southwest Oregon to northern Idaho to southern Wyoming; south to Mexico. It is endangered in Wyoming. Some records include: fastest recorded growth rate - 4 feet; 15 years - trunk diameter of 0.5 feet; 20 years - 60 x 23 feet; 60 years - 100 feet; 80 years - 3.7 feet; largest on record - 300 x 50 feet with a trunk diameter of 10 feet; largest in England - 160 feet. A tree of 220 x 40 x 7.5 feet is known to grow at Merced Lake in Yosemite NP in California. Trees over 100 feet are known to grow in eastern North America however none there are close yet to the maximum lifespan of 550 years for this tree. In DC is it grows at the Hillwood Estate. In Pennsylvania, the state champion tree is at Gettysburg Cemetary. A 50 foot tree grows at Dominion Arboretum in Ottawa, Canada.
The needles, up to 3.5 inches in length, are dull gray-green.
The cylindrical cones up to 5 inches in length are medium green ripening to brown.
The bark is smooth and light gray.
Hardy zones 2 to 7 preferring cool, sandy, fertile, well drained soil and a PH from 5.5 to 8. It is not clay, wet or urban tolerant but is very heat and drought tolerant , actually resenting excessively wet summers. Subsp. lowiana from the Pacific Coast grows exceptionally well in England ( reaching 150 feet or more there ).

* photo of unknown internet source


* photo taken on April 5 near Wilkes-Barre, PA

* photo taken on August 3 2010 @ University of Guelph Arboretum, Ontario

* photos taken on July 31 2011 in Hyde Park, NY





* photos taken on Aug 15 2014 at Maryland Zoo, Baltimore, MD


* photo taken by Russell D. Daigle @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database

* photo taken by Ray M. Filloon @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database

* photo taken by Bluford W. Muir @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database

* photo taken by Lloyd F. Ryan @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database

* photo taken by E.S. Shipp @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database

* photo taken by John C. Wicker @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database

* photo taken on Dec 3 2016 in Clarksville, MD

* historical archive photos








* photo taken by Albert Everett Wieslander and the Marian Koshland Bioscience and Natural Resources Library







'Candicans'
Striking silvery-blue foliage all year. An extremely beautiful tree that looks like an airy Blue Spruce with longer needles that are not sharp.

* photos taken on Aug 3 2012 @ University of Western Ontario, London, ON

USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database / Herman, D.E., et al. 1996. North Dakota tree handbook



'Compacta'
Densely pyramidal and dwarf, reaching a maximum size of 22 x 17 feet. Slow growing, it only reaches up to 6 x 3 feet in 10 years.
The foliage is blue-green.

'Violacea'
Glaucous blue foliage. Can reach 90 feet in 50 years.

* photos taken on July 25 2015 @ Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario



* photo taken on July 27 2015 in Goderich, ON

* photos taken on July 26 2015 @ Niagara Parks Bot. Gardens, Niagara Falls, ON



* historic archive photo


Abies delavayi ( Delavay's Fir )
A fast growing ( once finally established ), tall tree native to western China that can reach 80 feet or more. Some records include: 20 years - 30 feet; largest on record - 133 x 30 feet with a trunk diameter of 6.5 feet.
The needles, up to 1.5 inches in length, are glossy deep green above and whitish below.
The barrel shaped cones are up to 4 inches in length and are bluish-purple ripening to brown.
This tree is rare in cultivation. Considered hardy zones 7 to 9 tolerating as low as -4 F it should be tested more in zone 6. Grow very well in England.

Abies densa ( Bhutan Fir )
Native to the Himalayas and reaching 85 feet with a trunk diameter of 3 feet in 70 years and a maximum size of 200 x 30 feet. Needles are up to 2 inches in length. Hardy north to zone 7. Considered by some to be a subspecies of Abies spectabilis.

Abies durangensis ( Durango Fir )
A moderate growing tall tree reaching up to 80 feet that is native to northwestern Mexico. Some records include: 19 years - 37 feet with a trunk diameter of 9 inches; largest on record - 130 x 30 feet with a trunk diameter of 4 feet.
The needles, up to 2 inches in length, are bright green.
The bark is dark brown.
Hardy north to zone 7

Abies earnestii ( Earnest Fir )
A very tall graceful tree with light green foliage, that is native to China. Largest on record - 200 feet with a trunk diameter of 6.6 feet. Likely just a variant of Abies chensi.
Hardy north to zone 4

Abies equi-trojani
Native to the Ida Mountains in western Asia Minor. It is a natural hybrid between Abies cephalonica & A. nordmanniana, and it looks like Abies bornmuelleriana.
Hardy zones 6 to 7.

Abies fabri ( Faber Fir )
Native to mountains of Sichuan Province in western China ( at elevations of 4500 to 12000 feet ) and can reach up to 133 feet in height with a trunk diameter of 3.5 feet.
It can reach up to 50 feet in just 20 years.
The leaves, up to 1.2 inches in length, are glossy deep green. Related to Abies delavayi and Abies forrestii.
The cones, up to 3 inches in length, are bluish-black.
Hardy zones 6 to 8

Abies faxoniana
Largest on record - over 133 feet

Abies fargesii ( Sichuan Fir )
Also called Abies sutchuanensis. It is a vigorous, very tall, rugged, pyramidal tree to 100 feet or more that is native to central China. Some records include: 20 years - 66 x 15 feet; largest on record - 220 feet in height with a trunk diameter of 7 feet; largest in Pennsylvania - 57 x 24 feet at Haverford College near Philadelphia.
The leathery, needles, up to 2 inches in length, are glossy deep green above and silver striped beneath.
The oval cones, up to 3 inches in length are colored violet-purple.
Hardy zones 4 to 9. Flood tolerant; it is also heat/humidity tolerant and thrives in much of the eastern U.S.

Abies firma ( Japanese Fir )
Native to Japan and not well known in U.S., the Japanese Fir is a fast growing, very large tree, reaching up to 110 feet. Some records include: fastest recorded growth rate - 4 feet; 10 years - 20 x 15 feet; 20 years - 60 feet; largest on record - 170 x 60 feet with a trunk diameter of 10 feet. Trees up to 110 feet already grow in England where not native. Very large trees grow in Pennsylvania at Longwood Gardens and Haverford College near Philly. Very long-lived, trees are known to persist for as long as 1000 years.
The sharp, thick, needles, up to 1.8 inches in length, are glossy deep green.
The egg shaped cones are brown and up to 6 inches in length.
The scaly bark is gray-brown.
Hardy zones 5 to 9. It is excellent in the South ( most other Firs do not like hot humid summers ) and is clay tolerant and resistant to phytophora root rot. It even grows well in Mobile, Alabama on the Gulf Coast. The Japanese Fir can be found in Washington, D.C. at U.S. National Arboretum and Montrose Park.

* photos taken on Feb 2009 @ U.S. National Arboretum, D.C.

* photo taken @ Longwood Garden near Philly on Sep 2005

* photo taken on May 16 2010 @ Cylburn Arboretum, Baltimore, MD

* photos taken on May 7 2014 @ London Town Gardens, Edgewater, MD








* photos taken on Feb 8 2015 @ U.S. National Arboretum, DC






* photo taken on Nov 19 2016 @ London Town Gardens, Edgewater, MD

* historic archive photos




Abies forrestii ( Delavay Fir )
A tall, distinctive, beautiful, pyramidal conifer native to southeast Tibet and northwest Yunnan that can reach over 100 feet. Some records include: 20 years - 82 x 15 feet; largest on record - 203 x 50 feet with a trunk diameter of 7 feet.
The needles radiate densely around the stems, are very dark green above, silvery white below. They are up to 1.5 inches in length.
The cylindrical cones are up to 6 inches in length and are purplish-violet ripening to dark brown.
The buds are red and resinous.
Hardy zones 5 to 8. Chalk tolerant. Really likes maritime climates and does not like drought.

Abies fraseri ( Fraser Fir )
A tall, pyramidal conifer to 80 feet that is native to the eastern U.S. from sw. Virginia, w. North Carolina and eastern Tennessee. Some records include: fastest recorded growth rate - 4 feet with trunk diameter increase of 0.5 inches; 10 years - 20 x 10 feet; largest on record - 100 x 60 feet with a trunk diameter of 4 feet.
The needles, up to an inch in length, are deep green above and silvery banded below.
The cylindrical cones are up to 2.5 inches in length are green to purple, later ripening to brown.
The bark is reddish-brown and scaly.
Hardy zones 3 to 7 ( tolerating as low as -40 F ) and planted in Europe as an ornamental. Woolly Adelgid, an accidental European introduction to North America is wiping out all Fraser Fir and Carolina Hemlock forests in the southern Appalations. Far outside its natural range, it has potential in south-central & southeastern Alaska.

* Fraser Firs in the Smoky Mountains, Tennessee ( damage on Hemlocks from Woolly Agelgid also evident in photos




USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database

* historical archive photos








Abies georgei ( Yunnan Fir )
A slow growing, upright, pyramidal tree, reaching around 80 x 20 feet, that is native to mountains of Northwest Yunnan, southeast Xizang & southwest Sichuan in China where it is rare to threatened.
Records: fastest recorded growth rate - 1 foot; 10 years - 15 x 6 feet; largest on record - 100 feet with a trunk diameter of 3.5 feet.
The densely arranged needles, up to 1 inch in length, are glossy deep green.
The cones are purple and upright.
The bark is flaking and dark gray. The timber is used for pulp, furniture and construction.
Hardy zones 5b to 8

Abies grandis ( Grand Fir )
A huge, extremely fast growing, columnar to columnar tree reaching up to 200 feet, that is native to low elevations in western North America ( from southern British Columbia to extreme southwest Alberta; south to northern California to central Idaho to western Montana ). Some records include: fastest recorded growth rate - 5 feet; 20 years - 70 feet; 50 years - 151 feet; largest on record - 330 feet on Vancouver Island, Canada with as much as 400 x 40 feet with a trunk diameter of 13 feet reported in original old growth forests. The Grand Fir can live up to 400 years.
largest in Maryland - 115 x 52 x 3 feet in Montgomery Co.
The soft needles, up to 2.5 inches in length, are glossy deep green above with white banding below.
The cones up to 5 inches in length, ripen to gray-brown.
The smooth reddish brown bark cracks with age into thick, flat-top ridged.
The timber is often used in construction work and the making of paper.
Hardy zones 5 to 9. Grows exceptionally well in central Europe and England ( exceeding 210 feet and 7 foot trunk diameter in 135 years ) and is often used for forestry there.

* photo taken by Ray M. Filloon @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database

* photo taken by K.D. Swan @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database

* historical archive photos



'Sears Creek'
Originated from inland Rockies seed source and is hardy down to -40 F and possibly even grows as far north as zone 2. It grows well in the northeast U.S.

Abies guatemalensis ( Guatemala Fir )
A very dense, tall tree reaching up to 100 feet that is native to Guatemala where it is endangered. Some record include: ; 12 years - 27 feet with trunk diameter of 5 inches; largest on record - height of 170 feet with a trunk diameter of 5 feet.
The needles, up to 2.5 inches in length, are bright green later turning deep green.
Prefes soil PH from 5 to 6 and rainfall above 40 inches. Hardy north to zone 7 and grows exceptionally well in parts of England since its native climate is high mountain.

Abies hickelii
A tall tree native to mountains of southern Mexico where it is endangered. Some records include: fastest recorded growth rate - 4 feet; 7 years - 17 x 10 feet; 17 years - 27 feet with a trunk diameter of 9 inches; largest on record - 133 feet with a trunk diameter of 5 feet.
The needles are up to 1.5 inches in length.
Hardy north to zone 8. Grows suprisingly well and very vigorously in England.

Abies holophylla ( Manchurian Fir )
A tall, very luxuriant, fast growing conifer native to northeast Asia ( incl northern China, Manchuria and Korea ) that can reach up to 100 feet or more. Some records include: fastest recorded growth rate - 4 feet; largest on record - 175 x 40 feet with a trunk diameter of 11 feet; largest in Pennsylvania - 84 feet @ Morris Arboretum, Philadelphia.
The foliage flushes early in spring and the needles are up to 2 inches in length.
The needles are very persistent, contributing to dense habit.
The foliage is glossy bright green.
Hardy zones 2b to 7, it thrives in much of midwestern and northeastern North America.

* photo taken on Feb 2009 @ U.S. National Arboretum, D.C.

* photo taken on May 16 2010 @ Cylburn Arboretum, Baltimore, MD

* photos taken on Feb 8 2015 @ U.S. National Arboretum, DC



Abies homolepis ( Nikko Fir )
A tall, dense, vigorous, handsome conical, tier branched tree native to central and southern Japan reaching 150 feet. Some records include: 20 years - 66 x 17 feet; largest on record - 266 x 30 feet with a trunk diameter of 6 feet; tallest in U.S. - 117 feet @ the Biltmore Mansion, North Carolina. Older trees often become dome shaped. In Pennsylvania, the state champion resides at Haverford College among many other trees of exceptional size.
The needles, up to 1.5 inches in length, are glossy deep green above and silver below.
The cones up to 4 inches in length are violet-blue later ripening to brown.
The bark is grayish pink and finely shredded.
Hardy zones 3 to 9; this Fir thrives in both the extreme climates of Montana, North Dakota, Ohio, Minneapolis and Ottawa ON as well as maritime Nova Scotia, Canada. It is also reported to tolerate hot summers at least as far south as North Carolina. The Nikko is very tolerant of clay as well as urban pollution. Rarely bothered by pests or disease.

* historical archive photos

* photos taken on July 26 2015 @ Niagara Parks Bot. Gardens, Niagara Falls, ON




* historical archive photos





Abies kawakamii ( Taiwan Fir )
A rapid growing, conical, tall tree to 80 feet that is native to the mountains of Taiwan. Some records include: 10 years - 17 x 9 feet; largest on record - 120 feet in height with a trunk diameter of 6 feet.
The densely arranged needles are glossy deep blue-green and up to an inch in length.
The bark is gray-tan and corky.
The cones are bluish-purple.
Hardy north to zone 6 ( tolerating as low as -10 F ). It prefers the Pacific Northwest requiring somewhat cool and humid summers. The Taiwan Fir does not like root disturbance and is best planted very small. Seed is easy to germinate whether sown when fresh or after cold stratification.

Abies koreana ( Korean Fir )
A slow growing, neat, compact, formal, narrow pyramidal tree reaching around 50 feet that is native to mountains of South Korea. Its native range consists of temperate rainforests with high rainfall and cool humid summers. Some records include: fastest recorded growth rate - 1.5 feet; 12 years - 10 x 5 feet; 20 years - 20 x 10 feet; largest on record - 92 x 35 feet with a trunk diameter of 4 feet; largest in U.S. - Longwood Gardens near Philly, PA.
The needles are short, up to an inch in length, densely crowded blunt, deep green above and shiny white beneath.
The cones are striking blue-purple in color, up to 2.5 inches.
The buds are small, white and resinous.
The bark is smooth and gray-brown.
Hardy zones 4 to 8 ( tolerating as low as -30 F or possibly lower as it thrives in Ottawa, Canada ) and prefers sandy, well drained soil. Pollution tolerant.

* photo taken on Aug 25 2011 @ Scott Arboretum, Swarthmore College, PA

* photos taken on May 27 2017 @ Meadowlark Botanical Gardens, Vienna, VA



'Blue Standard'
Bluish foliage and faster growing but to same size. Records include: average growth rate - 1.5 feet; 26 years - 33 feet with a trunk diameter of 8 inches.

'Prostrate Beauty'
Vigorous, reaching 10 inches x 10 feet in 10 years; it is spreading in habit with no main leader.
The foliage is rich-green above, blue-white beneath.
The abundant cones are violet-blue.

'Silbelocke'
Also called 'Horstmanns Silberlock'. Forms a perfect pyramid, reaching up to 8 x 4 feet in 10 years; and an eventual maximum size of 30 x 20 ( rarely over 20 x 6 ) feet. Some records include: fastest growth rate - 1.5 feet.
The attractive twisted needles are deep green above, silvery-blue beneath. It is among the most beautiful of all conifers.
It bears abundant, large blue cones.

'Starkers Dwarf'
An upright, dwarf and broadly-conical, reaching up to 6 x 4 feet in 10 years.
The foliage is rich glossy mid-green above, white beneath.

Abies lasiocarpa ( Alpine Fir )
A dense, narrow-pyramidal tree native to high mountains up to the tree line in western North America ( from Alaska to central Yukon to southwest Northwest Territories to central Alberta; south to central Oregon to central Arizona and central New Mexico ). The Alpine Fir is slow growing but can exceed 100 feet. Some records include: fastest recorded growth rate - 2 feet; 10 years - 15 x 6 feet; 20 years - 33 x 12 feet; largest on record - 200 x 33 feet with a trunk diameter of 7 feet. Trees have already reaches 100 feet in Scotland. The Alpine Fir can live as long as 450 years. It is closely related to Abies balsamea. It is sometimes planted for its timber in northern Europe. It has reached 50 feet in 50 years at Dominion Arboretum in Ottawa, Canada.
The dense foliage is gray-green with bluish stripes on both sides. The needles are up to 2 inches in length. The foliage is very aromatic.
The cylindrical cones to 4 inches in length are purple ripening to brown.
They are found only on the highest branches.
The bark is grayish white and smooth with resin blisters.
Hardy zones 2 to 7 tolerating as low as -51 F. Prefers soil PH from 4 to 6.5. The Alpine Fir is prone to spruce budworm. Prefers cold climates and is drought tolerant. It does not enjoy mild climates or hot humid summers.

* photos taken on Aug 1998 in Banff National Park, Alberta

* photo taken by E.S. Shipp @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database

* photo taken by Sheri Hagwood @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database

* photo taken by J.E. Broaddus @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database

USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database

* historical archive photos































subsp. 'Arizonica'
Native to the mountains of Arizona and New Mexico with silvery-blue foliage and thick creamy white corky bark. Reaches about the same size as Abies lasiocarpa. Develops a candelabra crown if the central leader gets broken. A very handsome tree.

* historical archive photos



subsp. arizonica 'Compacta'
Slow growing, dense and conical reaching 6 x 6 feet in 10 years and a maximum size of 40 x 16 feet. Grows up to 3 inches per year though a report from England says much more.
The foliage is intense silvery-blue.

* photo taken by Milan Havlis ( havlis.cz )


'Roger Watson'
Dwarf, only reaching 3 x 3 feet in 10 years with attractive gray-green foliage.

Abies magnifica ( Shasta Fir )
A large picturesque tree to 150 feet in height that is native to the western U.S. from Oregon to northern California. Some records include: fastest recorded growth rate - 2 feet; 20 years - 65 feet; largest on record - 300 x 60 feet with a trunk diameter of 12 feet. A very large tree of 172 x 40 x 10 feet is known to grow at Yosemite NP in California. Has already reached up to 140 feet in England. This Fir can live up to 520 years.
The needles, up to 2 inches in length, are green to blue gray above with light gray bands beneath. The needles are upswept and point towards the tips of the stems.
The cylindrical cones up to 9 inches in length ripen to brown.
The bark is whitish and corky becoming red in very old plants.
Hardy zones 5 to 9, tolerating as low as -25 F. The Shasta Fir prefers cool moist climates but also grows well in the northeast U.S. enjoying our hot summers. Prefers acidic, sandy soils and is drought tolerant.

* photo of unknown internet source

* photo taken by Jean Pawek @ CalPhotos

* photo taken by R.C. Wilson @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database

* photo taken by G.B. Sudworth @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database

* photo taken by A.G. Milici @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database

* photo taken by Weldon Heald @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database

* historical archive photos















* photo taken by Albert Everett Wieslander and the Marian Koshland Bioscience and Natural Resources Library



Abies mariesii ( Marie's Fir )
A oval to flat-topped large tree reaching up to 60 feet or more; some records include: 20 years - 27 feet; largest on record - 115 x 32 feet with a trunk diameter of 4 feet; largest in Pennsylvania - 60 x 53 feet with a trunk diameter of 4 feet in Mifflin County. Large trees are also reported to already occur in England where not native. Marie's Fir is native to subalpine forests in the mountains of central and southern Japan. In it's native range; winter snowfall is heavy; the summers are cool, humid with high rainfall.
The needles, up to 0.8 inches in length, are bright green above, white beneath.
The smooth bark is light gray to almost white on aged trees.
The strong wood polishes well and is used for construction.
Hardy zones 1 to 6 ( est ). Should be planted when very small, since larger trees establish poorly.

* historic archive photos



Abies marocana ( Moroccan Fir )
A close relative to Abies pinsapo and resembles it in many ways however is native to mountains of Morocco in northern Africa instead. It has become extremely rare in the wild. Pyramidal in habit, reaching up to 10 x 6 feet in 10 years, it eventually becomes a medium-size to large tree.
The needles are longer and broader than that of Abies pinsapo and are blue-green.
Hardy zones 5 to 8 in full sun to partial shade, it is another Fir that is far hardier than its native range would suggest. It is extremely drought tolerant.

Abies mexicana ( Mexican Fir )
A tall conical tree to 100 feet that is native to the mountains of northeast Mexico. The tallest recorded is 130 feet.
The needles are olive green and up to 1 inch in length.
The bark is gray-brown and broken into square plates.
Hardy north to zone 7

Abies nebrodensis ( Italian Fir )
Also called Sicilian Fir. A fast growing, medium size tree with a wide flat crow that is native to northern Sicily where it is now extinct due to deforestoration. Some records include: 10 years - 15 x 8 feet; 20 years - 27 feet; largest on record - 82 x 30 feet with a trunk diameter of 3.5 feet. Known to reach almost that already in England where not native but reported to be very vigorous.
The largest known Italian Fir in Pennsylvania resides in Longwood Gardens south of Philly. It is closely related to Abies alba.
The glossy, deep green needles are up to an inch in length.
The cones are up to 7 inches in length.
The bark is orange.
Hardy zones 5 to 7 ( tolerating as low as -33 F ). It is easy to grow and much hardier than its tiny natural range would suggest.

'Sicilian Gold' ( Gold Sicilian Fir )
Nearly identical to species, except with glossy intense bright green foliage tipped in golden-yellow.

Abies nephrolepis ( Khinghan Fir )
A moderately fast growing, dense, medium-sized tree, reaching around 80 feet, that is native to Russia, se Siberia, northern China and Korea. Some records include: fastest growth rate - 26 inches; 20 years - 33 feet; largest on record - 120 feet with trunk diameters of 8 feet. Old trees have a dense spreading canopy made up of horizontal branches. The bark is grayish-white and smooth. It is closely related to the Balsam Fir.
The foliage is deep green.
Hardy zones 2 to 6, it requires cold climates such as found in the boreal regions around the world.

* photo taken on Feb 2009 @ U.S. National Arboretum, D.C.


* photo taken on 4th of July 2010 @ U.S. National Arboretum, D.C.


* photo taken on June 23 2013 @ U.S. National Arboretum, DC

* photo taken on Feb 8 2014 @ U.S. National Arboretum, DC




Abies nordmanniana ( Caucasian Fir )
A majestic, fast growing, very dense, tier branched, tall conical tree reaching 130 feet or more that is native to the mountain forests of Greece, northeast Turkey and the western Caucasus. Some records include: fastest recorded growth rate - 4 feet; 20 years - 66 x 27 feet; 45 years - trunk diameter of 2.2 feet; 100 years - 134 feet with a trunk diameter of 4.6 feet; largest on record - 260 x 67 feet with a trunk diameter of 12 feet. In Washington, D.C. is can be found at the National Zoo, Kenilworth Gardens, Lafayette and Montrose Park and the National Monument. The largest trees in Pennsylvania grow at Gettysburg National Cemetary and Wallingford Nursing Center in Wallingford. Trees already up to 160 feet occur in England where not native. It is also frequently used in timber plantations in central Europe. This is among the most beautiful of all Firs.
The flattened needles, up to 2 inches in length, are glossy, very dark green above and with 2 glistening white band beneath. The foliage is arranged in distinct rows.
The cylindrical cones, up to 8 inches are green ripening to purplish brown.
The bark is smooth and gray. The branches are tiered and sweep downward.
Hardy zones 4 to 8 and is heat, drought and very clay tolerant. Rarely bothered by disease. Caucasian Fir prefers cold winters but young trees do need to be protected from late spring frosts where they occur. It is among the easiest Firs to grow in the eastern half of North America.

* photo taken @ Longwood Gardens near Philly on March 1994

* photo taken on annual Horticultural Society of Maryland Garden Tour


* photos taken on July 17 2010 @ Morris Arboretum, Philly, PA

* photos taken @ Agricultural History Farm Park, Olney, MD







* photo taken on Mar 7 2013 @ Brookside Gardens, Wheaton, MD

* photos taken on July 26 2015 @ Niagara Parks Bot. Gardens, Niagara Falls, ON

* historical archive photo



'Golden Spreader'
A semi dwarf broad pyramidal form with golden foliage that can reach 32 inches x 6 feet in 10 years and a maximum size of 4 x 10 feet.
The golden yellow foliage is brightest in winter.
Can be prone to late spring frosts.

'Pendula'
Similar to species but with hanging branchlets.

Abies numidica ( Algerian Fir )
A dense, broadly-conical, coniferous tree to 80 feet that is native to a tiny area in the Kabyl Mountains in Algeria where it is endangered. Some records include; fastest recorded growth rate - 4 feet; 20 years - 50 feet; largest on record - 200 x 40 feet with a trunk diameter of 4.6 feet; largest in New York State - 72 feet @ Rochester.
The largest Algerian Fir in Pennsylvania resides at Longwood Gardens near Philly. Trees up to 123 feet already occur in England where not native.
The densely crowded, very stiff needles, up to 1 inch in length, are deep green above and with strong blue-white banding below. There are varieties with blue foliage as well.
The cones are up to 7 inches in length and are light brown when ripe.
The smooth, gray-purple bark flakes as the tree ages.
Hardy zones 5 to 9, prefers hot summers and is very tolerant of summer drought.

* historical archive photos



'Glauca'
Foliage very strongly striped silvery-blue beneath, otherwise identical to species.

* photo taken by Milan Havlis ( havlis.cz )


'Pendula'
Elegant, dense and attractive; it is similar in habit to Picea abies 'Pendula'.

Abies oaxacana ( Oaxaca Fir )
Also called Abies hickelii var. oaxacana. A rare Mexican native reaching a maximum height of 110 feet with a trunk diameter of 4.2 feet. It is endangered with extinction and it continues to decline in its highly fragmented habitat in Guerrero & Oaxaca Provinces.
The needles, up to 2 inches in length, are glossy bright green.
Hardy north to zone 8. It is native to high mountains with cool summers and wet winters in the subtropical zone. It may have horticultural potential in climates such as coastal central California.

Abies pindrow ( Pindrow Fir )
A tall columnar tree to 170 feet that is native to the Himalayas from Afghanistan to Nepal though rare. Some records include: 20 years - 66 x 14 feet; 100 years - trunk diameter of 4 feet; largest on record - 250 feet in height with a trunk diameter of 9.6 feet.
The needles are very long, up to 3.5 inches in length and are glossy green above with 2 narrow white bands beneath.
The cylindrical cones up to 5 inches in lenght are violet-blue ripening to brown.
Hardy zones 5a to 9 ( many clones only hardy north to zone 7 ) though young trees should be protected from late spring frosts.
Prefers moist, humid mountainous areas and maritime climates. Flood tolerant.

Abies pinsapo ( Spanish Fir )
A beautiful, moderate growing, very dense, pyramidal tree up to 80 feet or more that is native to the dry mountains of southern Spain where it is practically extinct in the wild. Some records include: fastest recorded growth rate - 3.5 feet; 10 years - 15 x 7 feet; 16 years - 27 feet with a trunk diameter of 9 inches; 20 years - 33 x 10 feet; 45 years - trunk diameter of 2.1 feet; 120 years - 108 x 53 feet with a trunk diameter of 4 feet; largest on record - 170 x 40 feet with a trunk diameter of 8 feet. The Spanish Fir can live for 364 years. A tree of 62 x 22 feet grows at Princeton, NJ. Trees up to 117 feet are reported from England where not native.
The short, densely packed, rigid, white banded, deep green foliage covers the shoots radially. The needles are up to 0.7 inches in length.
The upright cones up to 6 inches are cylindrical and purplish-brown.
The bark is brown cracking into small plates.
Hardy zones 4 to 8. Prefers hot summers and tolerates dry, limey and chalky soil.
There are varieties that are weeping and with very glaucous foliage.

* photo of unknown source on internet

* photo taken on May 6 2010 @ Brookside Gardens, Wheaton, MD

* historical archive photos





'Aurea'
Sulfur yellow needles on the new growth, the inner foliage is deep green. Smaller, only reaching up to 33 feet. It is also slower growing, only reaching around 6 x 4 feet in 10 years. Some records include: fastest growth rate - 1.5 feet.
The reddish cones contrast nicely with the foliage.

'Glauca'
Attractive blue-gray leaves, otherwise identical to species.

* photos taken on July 17 2010 @ Morris Arboretum, Philly, PA




* photo taken on Oct 1 2016 in Annapolis, MD


Abies procera ( Noble Fir )
A tall, very dense pyramidal tree to 200 feet that is native to high rainfall areas of the western U.S. Some record include: fastest recorded growth rate - 4 feet; 20 years - 66 x 10 feet; 45 years - trunk diameter of 2 feet; largest ever recorded - 400 x 60 feet with a trunk diameter of 16 feet; largest in New Jersey - 103 feet at Princeton. largest in Connecticut - 100 feet; Trees up to 170 feet are reported from the British Isles & Germany and larger is eventually likely. The Noble Fir can live up to 700 years.
The foliage, up to 2 inches in length, are blue-silver to gray-green above and gray banded beneath.
The barrel shaped cones are up to 10 inches in length; are green at first turning to brown as they ripen.
The pale silvery bark becomes shallowly fissured with age.
This tree is important for lumber production.
Hardy zones 4 to 9 and it does thrive in the Eastern U.S. but not the Southeast. Far out of its native range, one does thrive at Whistling Gardens in Wilsonville, ON ( just south of Brantford ). Prefers deep acidic soil and a cool, moist, maritime climate. Can be prone to aphids.

* photo of unknown internet source

* photo taken by Ray M. Filloon @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database

USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database

* historical archive photos









'Glauca' ( Blue Noble Fir )
Bright blue foliage that equals the best Picea pungens! It is otherwise identical to species.

* historical archive photo


'Glauca Prostrata'
A low growing, flat topped, spreading ground cover cultivar that has intense blue-gray foliage. It can reach 2 x 4 feet in 10 years and an eventual maximum size of 2 x 6.6 feet. Cut out any upright leaders because it does have a tendency to revert to the regular tall form.

'Sherwoodii'
Slower growing, reaching a maximum size of 70 feet with beautiful golden yellow needles.

Abies recurvata ( Min Fir )
A tall, conical tree to 90 feet native to the Min Valley in northwest Sichuan Province in China. Very old trees may become flat-topped.
Some records include: fastest recorded growth rate - 2 feet; 10 years - 15 x 8 feet; 20 years - 26 feet; largest on record - 200 x 30 feet with a trunk diameter of 13 feet.
The rigid needles, up to 1.5 inches long, are glossy mid-green above and with 2 wide greenish bands below. They are sharp-pointed and curve backwards on the leading shoots.
The cones up to 3 inches in length are violet-blue ripening to brown.
The very thick, rough, flaking bark is reddish brown.
Hardy zones 5 to 9 in full sun or partial shade ( it is more shade tolerant than most Firs ). This Fir grows well in the Midwest region around Chicago as well as the Mid Atlantic and Northeast. It also thrives in Maritime England and grows large.

Abies religiosa ( Sacred Fir )
A rare, fast growing, broadly-pyramidal tall tree native to the high mountains of northern Mexico. Its native habitat consists of cloud forests at elevations from 7000 to 13500 feet, with winter snowfall and cool humid summers with high rainfall. Some records include: 7 years - 27 feet with a trunk diameter of 10 inches; 20 years - 50 feet; 36 years - 101 feet with a trunk diameter of 20 inches; largest on record - 200 x 50 feet with a trunk diameter of 7 feet.
The needles, up to 1.5 inches in length, are dull green above and have greenish-white bands below.
The cones up to 6 inches in length are green or purple and ripen to brown.
The thick bark is brown and scaly.
This Fir is only hardy from zones 7 to 10 tolerating as low as 3 F ( reports of even colder to zone 6 - further testing needed ).

* photo of unknown internet source



Abies sachalinensis ( Sachalin Fir )
A tall conifer reaching up to 100 feet that is native to Hokkaida Island in Japan and the Sakhalin Island on the east of Russia. Some records include: fastest recorded growth rate - 1.5 feet; 33 years - 57 feet with a trunk diameter of 20 inches; 54 years - 85 feet; largest on record - 150 feet in height and 3.5 feet in trunk diameter; largest in Europe - 105 feet in Finland; largest in Oregon - 80 feet in Portland. The Sakhalin Fir is pyramidal when young and becoming narrow and flat topped with age. This tree looks very similar to Abies lasiocarpa.
The narrow needles up to 1.7 inches in length, are glossy deep green with white bands beneath.
The cylindrical cones are up to 3 inches in length and ripen from green to violet blue and finally to brown.
The bark is pale gray and smooth when young.
Hardy zones 2 to 6 and tolerates wet soil.

* historic archive photos




Abies sibirica ( Siberian Fir )
A tall, moderate growing, narrow-crowned tree to 100 feet or more that resembles Abies balsamea. It is native to northern Russia to Kamchatka; south to Kazakhstan, northeast Xinjiang Province in China and north-central Mongolia. Some records include: 20 years - 30 feet ( avg ); 40 years - 40 feet; largest on record - 170 feet with a trunk diameter of 7 feet. It has reached 30 feet in 28 years at the Central Experimental Farm in Ottawa, Canada. Moderately long-lived, it can persist as long as 200 years.
The stiff, thick needles are very fragrant, up to 2 inches in length and are deep green to blue.
The cones are up to 3 inches in length.
The bark is smooth and gray.
Hardy zones 1 to 5 ( tolerating as low as -60 F ). An excellent tree for Alaska, northern Canada & Finland.

Abies spectabilis ( Himalayan Fir )
A tall, fast growing pyramidal tree native to the Himalayan mountains in Afghanistan, Nepal, northern India and western China, at altitudes up to 13000 feet. Some records include: fastest recorded growth rate - 3 feet; 20 years - 50 x 20 feet; largest on record - 230 feet tall with a trunk diameter of 11.2 feet.
The slightly curved, rigid needles, up to 2 inches long, are glossy deep green above and white banded below.
The barrel shaped cones up to 6 inches long are purplish-violet ripening to brown.
The bark is gray.
Hardy zones 6 to 9 and should be tested in zones 4 and 5. Can be prone to frosts in late spring.

Abies squamata ( Flaky Fir )
A large, slow growing, upright-pyramidal tree reaching up to 80 feet or more, native to western China where very rare. Some records include: fastest recorded growth rate - 1 foot; 10 years - 10 x 5 feet; 20 years - 20 feet; largest on record - 133 feet tall with a trunk diameter of 5.5 feet.
The very pointed needles are up to 1 inches in length. They are dull gray-green to deep blue-green above, silvery beneath.
The upright cones are purple.
The bark is red-brown, peeling and shaggy.
Hardy north to zones 6 ( tolerating at least -20 F ) and should be tested in zones 4 and 5.

Abies veitchii ( Veitch Fir )
A fast growing, broadly pyramidal, tall tree native to Japan that can reach 80 feet or more. Some records include: fastest recorded growth rate - 4 feet; 25 years - 75 x 35 feet; 80 years - 104 feet with trunk diameter of 42 inches; largest on record - 120 x 40 feet with a trunk diameter of 3.4 feet; largest in New York State - 60 feet in Rochester; largest in Washington - 83 feet in Seattle; largest in Connecticut - 70 feet.
The Veitch Fir is short lived compared to many other Firs ( but can still exceed 100 years )
The needles are smooth, to 1.5 inches long, glossy deep green above and bright white below.
The abundant, cylindrical cones up to 3 inches in length are bright blue-purple and ripen to brown.
The smooth bark is pale gray.
Hardy zones 3 to 6, tolerating as low as -40 F. Tolerant of pollution, clay and shade.
Midwest tolerant and thrives especially well in Michigan, Ontario as far north as the Ottawa Valley and the northeast.

* historical archive photos






'Glauca'
Steel-blue foliage, otherwise similar.

'Pendula'
Majestic, reaching up to 27 feet in height, with an erect main leader and weeping side branches.

Abies vejari ( Martinez Fir )
An attractive, tall, tiered, very luxuriant tree native to mountains of northeast Mexico that can reach over 100 feet. Some records include: 8 years - 27 x 20 feet; 24 years - 63 feet with a trunk diameter of 20 inches; 50 years - 103 feet; largest on record - 133 feet with a trunk diameter of 5 feet. It is highly endangered in its native range.
The needles are light blue and to 1.5 inches in length.
The cones are up to 6 inches in length.
The bark is gray, scaly and fissured.
Hardy zones 7 to 8 ( should be tested more as there are random reports of tolerating as low as -20 F ); this Fir is tolerant of drought, lime, extremely acidic soils, extreme heat and flooding.
It is highly valuable for warm climates where most other Firs do not grow.

RELATED PLANTS

Cathaya

Cathaya argyrophylla ( Cathay Silver Fir )
A large tree, native to southeastern China where it is endangered. It was discovered as recently as the 1955. Fossilized evidence reveals that this tree also grew in Germany as recently as 5 million years ago. Some records include: 10 years - 15 feet; largest on record - 82 feet with a trunk diameter of 3 feet.
It looks like a Sciadopitys in appearance, however the leaves are only up to 2.5 inches in length. The foliage is deep green above, bright green beneath.
Hardy zones 5 to 9 ( est ), it is reported growing at Buchart Gardens near Victoria BC, Portland, OR, central New Jersey and North Carolina. Another tree is reported to grow in Whistling Gardens in Wilsonville ( south of Brantford ), Ontario. Hopefully this extremely beautiful tree becomes much more common in the future.

3 comments:

  1. I love the looks of pine trees. They are beautiful trees. My favorite would have to be the fraser fir. I guess I like this one the most because you always think of christmas. I have purchased some a farm to use in my yard http://graggfarmsandnursery.com. They have beautiful tress,

    ReplyDelete
  2. Just seen some nice looking Fraser Fir christmas trees today at the local Home Depot.

    ReplyDelete
  3. You write:"Abies nebrodensis ( Italian Fir )
    Also called Sicilian Fir. A fast growing, medium size tree with a wide flat crow that is native to northern Sicily where it is now extinct due to deforestoration" but happily this is not true See: http://www.parcodellemadonie.it/abies-nebrodensis.html Greeting from Italy

    ReplyDelete