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Abies nordmanniana

Common Name(s):

  • Caucasian Fir
  • Nordman Fir
Phonetic Spelling
AY-bees nord-man-ee-AY-nah
Description

The Caucasian fir is Native to the Caucasus mountains and northeastern Turkey.  It grows at elevations of 3,000 to 7,200 feet above sea level on mountains with an annual rainfall of over 40 inches so it is best suited for a northern climate.  It dislikes hot, dry summers and clay soils.  It casts dense shade with branches that often reach the ground.  It is easy to transplant and is one of the easier Abies sp. to grow.  Leaves provide winter interest and a great backdrop to other landscape plants. The shoots are often pubescent (hairy). Commonly grown as a commercial Christmas tree, the wood is soft and white and is used for construction or as paper pulp.

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems:  None serious.  Balsam woolly adelgids, bark beetles, spruce budworms, aphids, bagworms, and scale.  Cankers, heart rot, root rot, needle rust, and twig blight.  Intolerant of urban pollution often damaged by deer.

Quick ID Hints:

  • black-green needle color with white stripes
  • smooth bark with resin blisters
  • long cones, 6"
  • circular leaf scars
Cultivars:
  • 'Golden Spreader'
    Yellow needles, prostrate selection
Tags:
#evergreen#sun#full sun#partial shade#green#acidic soil#needles#cones#temperate#conifer#tree#winter interest#cold hardy#christmas tree#smooth bark#needled evergreen#screens
Cultivars:
  • 'Golden Spreader'
    Yellow needles, prostrate selection
Tags:
#evergreen#sun#full sun#partial shade#green#acidic soil#needles#cones#temperate#conifer#tree#winter interest#cold hardy#christmas tree#smooth bark#needled evergreen#screens
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Abies
    Species:
    nordmanniana
    Family:
    Pinaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    Christmas trees, paper, construction
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Northeastern Turkey, northern Iran, Caucasus
    Dimensions:
    Height: 40 ft. 0 in. - 60 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 15 ft. 0 in. - 25 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Tree
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Needled Evergreen
    Habit/Form:
    Dense
    Pyramidal
    Growth Rate:
    Slow
    Maintenance:
    Medium
    Texture:
    Fine
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full Sun (Direct sunlight 8+ hours a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight (2-4 hrs) for only part of the day
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Available Space To Plant:
    24-60 feet
    NC Region:
    Mountains
    Usda Plant Hardiness Zone:
    4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Red/Burgundy
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Fruit Length:
    > 3 inches
    Fruit Description:
    Cylindrical seed cones (6" long) dark reddish-brown. With all firs, the cones appear upright on the branches. Cone scales drop after the seeds ripen leaving a central stalk on the branch.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Insignificant
    Flower Description:
    No ornamental value, monoecious
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Needled Evergreen
    Leaf Color:
    Black
    Green
    White
    Leaf Feel:
    Glossy
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Leaf Type:
    Needles
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Width:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Description:
    Flattened, glossy dark green needles (to 1 1/4” long and .02" thick). Needles have two white bands underneath. The tip of the leaf is usually blunt, often slightly notched at the tip, but can be pointed though they are not sharp. Upper needles are shorter and pointed foward. Needles remain on tree even after death.
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Dark Brown
    Dark Gray
    Red/Burgundy
    Surface/Attachment:
    Smooth
    Bark Description:
    Charcoal gray to red-brown smooth texture with resin blisters until it is very mature.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Surface:
    Hairy (pubescent)
    Stem Description:
    Needles densely cover stems. Buds are not resinous. Leaf scars are round.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Theme:
    Winter Garden
    Design Feature:
    Screen/Privacy
    Specimen