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Concolor Fir

For December, I have chosen a plant of the month based on the biggest horticultural symbol of the season, the Christmas Tree.  Most of our Christmas tree species include white pine, scotch pine, blue spruce, Norway spruce, and Concolor Fir.  I have chosen to write about Concolor Fir as it is a great tree species for any acreage setting.

White or Concolor Fir
Concolor Fir, Abies concolor, is also called white fir by some.  This is a very dense evergreen tree that grows up to 25-40 feet tall and has a spread of 15-25 feet.  This fir species has softer needles, which makes it a great choice for a Christmas tree.  The 1.5-2.5 inch long needles are bluish-green in color and they curve upward on the branches.  The cones on a concolor fir are held at the top of the tree and are 3-6 inches long.  The cones are purple in color at first and dry to a brown color and are stalked, which means they are held upright on the tree.

There are many other cultivars of Concolor Fir that are available in the nursery trade.  'Compacta' is a good choice for smaller locations, as it grows to only 6-7 feet tall and wide.  There is also a 'Dwarf Globe' that grows up to 3 feet tall, is bluish in color, and has very dense needles.  This would be a good choice for a shrub along the front of a house.

Growing Concolor Fir
Concolor Fir does well in full sun but will tolerate light shade, which is different from most evergreen species.  It has a slow-medium growth rate and will withstand heat, drought, and cold conditions.  It prefers moist, well-drained soils and does not prefer clay soils.  It does not see many problems with insects and diseases but it does tend to get spidermites and bagworms which are both quite easy to control.  This tree can be grown as a specimen tree, an accent tree, or planted in a grouping as a border.

Obviously, one important use of Concolor Fir is as a Christmas tree, to celebrate the holidays.  Currently, it isn't the highest used Christmas tree species, but it is increasing in use for the holiday decoration, especially in eastern Nebraska.  It is also a great tree to be used for plywood and framing logs, according to the National Forest Service.  According to Colorado State University, Concolor Fir is also used to make paper and high quality wrapping paper.  This tree is also used to make vegetable containers. Concolor Fir Needles

Concolor Fir is a great tree species for your lawn or acreage.  It can be planted in part sun, which is unusual for most evergreen species.  It can be used in many different locations throughout your landscape.  Concolor Fir is a great tree and it can then be utilized for a Christmas tree in your home for the Holidays.  If you have the space, you could purchase one for a living Christmas tree and then plant it in your landscape after the holidays to grow and enjoy outdoors for years to come.

Concolor Fir
Nicole Stoner
Nicole Stoner
Extension Educator - Horticulture

As a professional horticulturist, Nicole's focus areas include trees, shrubs, lawns, gardens, and insects.

Gage County Extension
1115 West Scott
Beatrice, NE

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