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Abies fraseri is often confused with:
Abies balsamea Abies balsamea
Plants that fill a similar niche:
Juniperus virginiana Juniperus virginiana
Tsuga canadensis Tsuga canadensis
Thuja occidentalis Thuja occidentalis
Abies fraseri has some common insect problems:
Balsam Woolly Adelgid
Balsam Twig Aphid on Fraser Fir

Mountain Balsam Abies fraseri

Other Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
AY-bees FRAY-zer-eye
Description

Fraser Fir is a native evergreen tree that grows on moist, cool slopes on top of the highest of the Appalachian Mountains in the Southeastern United States.  It is found at high elevations, 4,000 to 6,700 ft., often in stands with Red Spruce.  It has a narrow, conical shape when young and grows to a modest 30 to 50 ft. tall with a trunk 1 to 2 ft. thick.  It is economically produced in North Carolina as a Christmas tree – in fact, the Christmas tree industry has ranked it as the number one Christmas tree species!

Fraser Fir grows best in full sun to light shade with moist, well-drained soil.  It does not tolerate heat.

It bears similarity to Balsam Fir (A. balsamea), but most easily distinguishable by the bracts on the cones.  Fraser Fir has long bracts that curl downward while the short Balsam Fir bracts are hidden by the scales.

The Balsam Wooly Adelgid, an introduced insect, is causing major threat to wild Fraser Fir populations.  The deadly infestations easily and quickly spread among trees.

Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#fragrant#evergreen#full sun#conical#light shade#needles#large tree#slow growing#native tree#dark green#conifer#tsc#playground#cpp#christmas tree#children's garden#native garden#Christmas
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#fragrant#evergreen#full sun#conical#light shade#needles#large tree#slow growing#native tree#dark green#conifer#tsc#playground#cpp#christmas tree#children's garden#native garden#Christmas
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Abies
    Species:
    fraseri
    Family:
    Pinaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    Grown and exported as a Christmas tree
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Appalachian Mountains
    Play Value:
    Fragrance
    Pieces Used in Games
    Wildlife Food Source
    Dimensions:
    Height: 30 ft. 0 in. - 50 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 15 ft. 0 in. - 25 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Native Plant
    Tree
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Needled Evergreen
    Habit/Form:
    Conical
    Dense
    Pyramidal
    Growth Rate:
    Slow
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Available Space To Plant:
    24-60 feet
    NC Region:
    Mountains
    Usda Plant Hardiness Zone:
    4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    Purple/Lavender
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Fruit Length:
    1-3 inches
    Fruit Description:
    2.5 in. upright purple-brown cones with yellow-green bracts with tips that curl downward. When ripe, the seeds, scales, and bracts fall off together, leaving behind the woody core of the cone.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Insignificant
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Needled Evergreen
    Leaf Color:
    Gray/Silver
    Green
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Leaf Type:
    Needles
    Leaf Shape:
    Acicular
    Linear
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Width:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Description:
    1 in. flat, linear, shiny, dark green needles with a round, sometimes notched point. The undersides are a silvery white.
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Light Gray
    Surface/Attachment:
    Smooth
    Bark Description:
    On young trees, the bark is smooth, thin, and light gray, blistered with resin on its surface.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Description:
    Branches hold a whorled form up the trunk.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Recreational Play Area
    Slope/Bank
    Landscape Theme:
    Children's Garden
    Design Feature:
    Specimen
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Pollution
    Urban Conditions