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ABIES fraseri

Image of Abies fraseri

Jesse Saylor

Family

Pinaceae

Botanical Name

ABIES fraseri

Plant Common Name

Fraser Fir

General Description

Fraser fir is a fragrant evergreen tree native to the Appalachian Mountains of the southeastern United States, from Virginia down to Georgia. Native populations grow at both high and low elevations along the mountainside. They exist in nearly pure stands at high elevations but are mixed with other conifers and hard woods at mid to lower elevations. Young trees are dense and pyramidal, which is why they are favored as Christmas trees. In fact, Frasier is only rivaled in popularity by balsam fir. Mature trees reach great heights and develop open, more horizontal branches.

Short, flattened, deep green needles offer year-round interest and are flexible and soft when grasped. Small male, or pollen, cones appear in spring alongside large female cones, which are purplish when immature, age to brown and quickly shatter when fully dry. Trees small and large have nearly smooth bark dotted only with resinous bumps.

This true fir grows handsomely in full or partial sun and prefers sites with well-drained, slightly acid, moist loam. It is a shallow-rooted species so refrain from planting where high winds are prevalent. In the landscape, Frasier fir makes a fine large specimen tree or can be planted in masses as an effective green screen or windbreak.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    7 - 2

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    4 - 7

  • Sunset Zone

    1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 14

  • Plant Type

    Needled or Scaled Evergreen

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun, Partial Shade

  • Height

    30'-70' / 9.1m - 21.3m (40)

  • Width

    20'-25' / 6.1m - 7.6m (20)

  • Bloom Time

    Spring, Late Spring

  • Native To

    Southeastern United States

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Growth Rate

    Slow

  • Water Requirements

    Drought Tolerant, Average Water

  • Habit

    Pyramidal

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Insignificant

  • Fruit Color

    Purple, Tan, Brown

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green, Light Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Bark Color

    Brown, Gray

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    Yes

  • Fragrant Foliage

    Yes

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    Yes

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    No

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Glossy

  • Evergreen

    Yes

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Bark Texture

    Platy

  • Usage

    Feature Plant, Screening / Wind Break

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Attracts

    Birds

  • Self-Sowing

    No