Oh Christmas Tree

As mentioned previously we’re carrying some exciting and different (depending on where you live) firs as Christmas trees.

My personal favourite of these is the Nordman Fir. Reasonably enough you could argue that the tree is not very dense and that it’s very wide for its height (we have Fraser Firs at 12′ that are more narrow than our 7′ Nordman Firs). I love the colour, length and thickness of the needles on this tree, and the shape of each tree is pretty much perfect.


Abies nordmanniana (Nordman Fir)


Abies nordmanniana (Nordman Fir), Detail

As a tree the Nordman Fir is apparently even more attractive and comes in a huge number of forms, most of which I now want though few would be reliably hardy for me here, which is probably a good thing.

The Noble Fir, if it had better colour, would be a clear #1 in my books – perfect shape, dense but not so dense you can’t hang ornaments, good needle retention, longer needles than a Fraser Fir helps make the tree look more full. The colour on these has sort of a dull, faded effect that’s a little off-putting though, and most of these that are larger than 7′ tall have trunks that won’t fit in any but the largest of stands. Nice trees though otherwise. I sold a 7-8′ tree last night which had a 6″ trunk at the bottom on a tree only 9 years old – a Fraser or Balsam that age might have a trunk up to 4″ across.


Abies procera (Noble Fir)


Abies procera (Noble Fir), Detail

I’ve used Noble Fir branches in containers and their fairly long needles and dense look make them perfect for use as a backdrop in more structured one sided designs. As a tree a quick google did not wow me like the Nordman Fir though there seem to be some nice forms that are a little more blue.

The Concolor Firs we carry are interesting… When I first heard we were getting Concolors as cut trees I was a little surprised. We sold a few as live plants and they were stunning but very open and as blue as a Hoopsi Blue Spruce (Picea pungens ‘Hoopsii’) ie., very blue.

Needless to say I was a little disappointed when I saw the mostly green needles arranged basically flat along the branch. Not bad trees that’ll give an interesting effect with their very long Needles and soft green colour and pretty good shape.


Abies concolor subsp. lowiana, Detail

Apparently the tree we sold that I loved so much was an Abies concolor subsp. concolor characterized by very blue needles with a strongly upright curve (you can see a good picture of these needles here) while Abies concolor subsp. lowiana, the tree we have as a Christmas tree, has mostly green needles that will either be flat along the branch or angled upwards (rather than curved) on a much larger tree.

Almost completely unrelated, Fir Waves sound very cool.

About Andrew

Plant lover living in Toronto, Canada where I grow a wide range of plants in a very small space.
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