It naturally grows alongside beech trees and firs, but when grown in a plantation as a single species the tree will take on a traditional triangular shape, and it has a strong pleasant smell; making it a great Christmas tree.
Growing Abies alba Video
Abies alba Growing and Care Guide
Scientific Name: Abies alba
Common Name: European silver fir, Christmas Tree
Growing Zone: USA: 5 to 8, Very Hardy in the UK to zone H7 (Colder than -20°C).
Life Cycle / Plant Type: Monoecious Evergreen Tree
Plant Height : around 180 feet (55 m), pyramidal crown
Plant Spread: 12 to 20 (3.5 to 6 m)
Leaf Foliage: Dark Green, Shiny, Needles
Growth Form: Columnar, triangular
Ideal Growing Conditions
Best Light Conditions: Full shade to full sunlight
Rate of Growth: Grows slowly when young, one meter per year from about age six.
Suitable Soil Types: pH should be slightly acidic (pH5) for best results; tolerates a neutral pH. Loamy, Sandy (but not infertile), or heavy soils.
Soil Moisture: Moist soils for best results. Well drained.
Abies alba Care Conditions
Propagation: Seeds (outbreeded are more viable). Sow towards the end of winter indoors or out. Germination takes up to two months. Alternatively sow fresh seed under a cold frame in autumn. Prick seedlings out into seperate pots. Transplant to final location when 1 to 3 feet (30 to 90 cm) tall. Plants can also be regenrated from their stumps.
Pests and diseases: Aphis, dieback, rust.
Best Garden Use: Underplanting, Screen, Specimen.
Miscellaneous: Non-native to North America but grown in mass in plantations. Does not bloom. Used for timber. Named after the Latin for 'rising one' in reference to the tallships of old. Produces a resin known as 'Strasburg Turpentine' that is used in perfumes, and an oil known as Rosin oil that is used for varnish and lacquer.