Abies

Common Name: Fir

An evergreen coniferous tree with attractive needle-like foliage that is native to the northern temperate regions of the world.

Nearly all are hardy, but a few of the cultivated species start into growth early in the year and may be damaged by late spring frosts.

Most species flower and bear ovoid cones on the topmost branches.

Some species make fine specimen trees, and other small-growing varieties, such as a.koreana, may be grown in a shrub border or large rock gardens.

Subject to variety, some of the larger varieties can grow up to 30 metres high.

Mature trees require a deep, well drained slightly acid soil, but a.grandis will tolerate limestone and chalk soils, provided there is a shallow acid surface soil.

Avoid exposed positions and entirely alkaline soils.

A lightly shaded position will give protection from late spring frosts.

Although these trees are generally disease free, one should always be on the look out for fungal diseases that can cause ‘die back’

Cultivation notes:

Week 12; Sow seed in a good seed compost and germinate at around 10°C (50°F) or alternatively place in a cold frame.

Expect germination to take around four weeks at 10°C (50°F) and much longer if using a cold frame.

Week 13; It is essential to keep a dominant leading shoot to avoid 'shrubbyness'.

If forking growths / side-shoots occur prune them out flush with the trunk.

Week 18; Weed around the root area of established trees and apply an annual dressing of balanced fertilizer and a deep mulch.

Week 24; Prick out the seedlings into a nursery bed, when large enough to handle, and grow on for two to four years before planting out in permanent positions.

Alternatively; prick out into 70mm (3”) pots of potting compost and grow on in a cold frame.

Around Week 4 the following year and subsequent years, check to ensure the seedlings are not becoming ‘pot bound’

If they are, pot them up into the next sized pot and place back in the cold frame to grow on for another year or until such times as they are ready to go into their final quarters.

Week 44; Plant out on light soils. If the soil is heavy or wet wait until Week 15 before planting out.



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