Abies alba is a beast of a tree that is capable of growing up to 200 feet (60 m) in height.
It is native to the mountainous areas of Europe, especially the Alps, Pyrenees, and Central to Eastern Europe.
It is best known as being the original Christmas tree, though nowadays the more attractive Nordman Fir ( Abies nordmanniana ) is the more frequently used.
Abies alba 'Pendula' photograph by F. D. Richards.
As a tall dense tree, it is no surprise that it has a large diameter trunk – for a conifer – of about 4 to 5 feet (1.5 m).
Abies alba has needle-like leaves that have a notched tip and are about one inch (2.5 cm) long.
Pollen cones can be blue, red, or violet and are ½ to 1 1/3 inches (1 to 3 cm) long.
Cylindrical seed cones to 4 to 6 inches (10 to 15 cm) in length. These carry obovoid winged seeds
Abies alba - Abeto Blanco photograph by Ramón Miguel Roldán Quintana.
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.
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