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Abies firma

Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
AY-bees FIR-mah
Description

This fir, native to Japan, is grown for timber, flooring, crates, and paper pulp.  It is popular in North Carolina because it is able to withstand southern heat and wet summers and poor drainage.  It performs best in rich, consistently moist, slightly acidic, well-drained soils.  It prefers full sun but appreciates some part afternoon shade in hot summer climates. It is often grown as a Christmas tree.

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems: None serious. Sometimes bark beetles, spruce budworms, aphids, bagworms, and scale. Spider mites may occur in hot conditions. Potential disease problems include cankers, heart rot, root rot, needle rust, and twig blight. It tends to break buds in early spring and is subject to late frost damage. 

Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#evergreen#shade tree#full sun#conical#needles#large tree#poor drainage#fine texture#slow growth#bonsai#accent plant#wet sites#disease resistant#christmas tree#needled evergreen#screens#screening#Braham Arboretum#evergreen tree
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#evergreen#shade tree#full sun#conical#needles#large tree#poor drainage#fine texture#slow growth#bonsai#accent plant#wet sites#disease resistant#christmas tree#needled evergreen#screens#screening#Braham Arboretum#evergreen tree
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Abies
    Species:
    firma
    Family:
    Pinaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    Used as bonsai and christmas trees.
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Japan
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    Is immune to the balsam woolly adelgid which can be a problem for other species of fir. It is resistant to phytopthora root rot.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 40 ft. 0 in. - 70 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 30 ft. 0 in. - 40 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Tree
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Needled Evergreen
    Habit/Form:
    Columnar
    Conical
    Open
    Growth Rate:
    Slow
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Fine
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    High Organic Matter
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Wet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Usda Plant Hardiness Zone:
    6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Summer
    Fruit Length:
    > 3 inches
    Fruit Description:
    No fruits. Conical seed cones (3.5-5" long) are erect on branches and showy through the summer. The scales drop off in the fall, leaving only the central spike axis of the cone on the branch. Some are much smaller (1 1/4' long), bright green/yellow (before ripening), and droop from the leaf axils.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Description:
    No flowers. Pollen cones appear April-May, small, and can be resinous.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Needled Evergreen
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Prickly
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Leaf Type:
    Needles
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    1.5 in. dark green fragrant needles look like a 2-sided comb that forms a V shape on the twigs. Needles are notched at base; sharp prickly point.
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Dark Brown
    Dark Gray
    Light Brown
    Light Gray
    Red/Burgundy
    Surface/Attachment:
    Fissured
    Ridges
    Scaly
    Shredding
    Spongy
    Bark Plate Shape:
    Irregular
    Bark Description:
    Scaly, rough, fissured gray bark becomes corky with age. The bark can be gray to brown with hints of red.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Description:
    Young branches are ascending but become horizontal with age. The branches with needles have opposite arrangement.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Naturalized Area
    Woodland
    Design Feature:
    Accent
    Screen/Privacy
    Shade Tree
    Specimen
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Heat
    Humidity
    Wet Soil