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Abies Concolor - The White Pine or White Fir
A beautiful conifer tree, the Abies Concolor tree, often known as the White Fir Tree or Concolor Fir has silvery blue glaucous foliage and is native to the mountains of western North America. It gets its name White Fir from the white colour of its bark. It has a classic Christmas tree shape and indeed the Concolor Fir is often used as a Christmas tree in America.
Abies Concolor will grow steadily into a pyramid shape reaching 25 metres in height over ten to twenty years but it can be happily pruned at any height you require. Colour and height are the main reasons a gardener will choose a White Fir Tree. The Abies Concolor’s needles are a silvery-blue glaucous shade complemented by the white bark from which it draws its name. These colours are an interesting twist on the standard green fir tree.
Branches fall naturally into regular horizontal fan arrangements and six to 12 centimetre sized cones develop in autumn. At first these are yellow or a light purple shade, later ripening into the traditional brown cones that release winged seeds.
White Fir Trees are fully hardy throughout the UK. They are able to withstand heat as well as cold temperatures with ease if their roots are kept from waterlogged conditions.
Abies Concolor make good specimen trees when they are planted out individually. In the winter months they can be decorated with outdoor lights for a traditional Christmas effect, or you can try growing one in a container to restrict its size and move it indoors for a short while. A living Christmas tree will happily move back outdoors after the festive season if it is watered well and kept away from radiators.
Abies Concolor or the Concolor Fir can be used as a hedge or evergreen screening or ornamentally in a garden that needs some winter interest. Large specimens are good for landscaping designs often fulfilling both a practical and ornamental role at the same time.
Large free-growing trees can reach a height of 25m but they can be kept at a manageable height by cutting the leader branch. There is no need to prune a Concolor fir other than to restrict its height because they retain a conical shape as they grow, however, keeping your white fir tree shorter will encourage bushiness.
White Fir Trees perform best in rich well-drained soils that are slightly acidic but they will grow in most conditions provided the soil is not heavy clay. They appreciate full sun and mulch around their roots in spring time.
Fir trees are not just for Christmas because they make interesting architectural shapes in a garden, create wildlife habitats and will boost your outdoor space with year round colour. It’s worth considering a beautiful white fir tree if you need to fill a large space or want to landscape a lengthy piece of lawn.
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