White Fir (Abies concolor)
The white fir is a cone shaped conifer that is often used for ornamental purposes. The needles can be green, blue-green, or even a silver-blue. Cones are found on upper branches and point straight upward. The tree’s fruits attract birds and small mammals.
Family: Pinaceae (Pine)
Characteristics: The 1 ½ to 2 ½ inch long needles vary in color from green, blue-green, to silver-blue. As is a distinctive characteristic of all firs, white fir cones appear upright on branches. These 3-6 inch long cones are yellow-green, maturing to a brown or purple. Bark is ash-gray and smooth. This tree has a narrow conical shape, with upper branches that point upwards and lower branches that point downwards. With age, lower branches may disappear and the crown of the tree may flatten. In residential landscapes, the white fir grows 30-50 feet high and 15-20 feet wide. In the wild, the tree can grow up to 80-130 feet high and 20-30 feet wide.
Foliage: Evergreen (foliage present year round)
Geographic Origin: Western United States, Mexico (non-native)
Cultivation Notes: Requires a medium amount of maintenance. Grows best in full sun to part-shade. Prefers medium moist, slightly acidic, sandy, and well-drained soils. Does best in areas with long winters and cool summers.
Number on Campus: 1
Sources: Dirr, Morton Arboretum, Missouri Botanical Garden