Fraser Fir: US President Christmas tree

Fraser Fir: US President Christmas tree

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Fraser fir, or Abies Fraseri, refers to gymnosperms from the Pine family, which are currently very popular both in landscape design and indoor floriculture.

Fraser fir: description

Abies Fraseri has significant similarities with balsamic fir Abies balsamea and can be considered as its subspecies. This type of fir was named after the Scottish botanist John Fraser. The tree is widespread in the southeastern United States. The species was cultivated in 1811.

Abies Fraseri is a small evergreen coniferous plant, the height of which in natural conditions can vary from 10 to 15 m and higher with a trunk diameter of 40-50 cm. The crown is conical, consisting of straight, horizontally arranged branches. Often there may be an arrangement of branches at an angle of 40 °. The bark is thin and smooth, grayish-brown. With age, cracks and flakes form on the surface of the cortex.

The leaves are needle-shaped, spirally arranged and twisted at the base, 10 to 23 mm long and 2.0-2.2 mm wide. Dark green to bluish green staining at the top. The presence of two silver-white stripes in the lower part is characteristic.

Cones are erect, cylindrical in shape, 3.5–7 cm long, 2.5–3 cm wide, dark violet, which, when ripe, changes to light brown. The surface scales are green, yellow, or pale violet, often resinous.

Popular varieties

Currently, there are about 25 varieties of Abies Fraseri. However, only a few of the most decorative, frost-resistant and unpretentious varieties of cultivation gained particular popularity.

Grade nameGrade descriptionGrade FeaturesDecorative
"Blue bonnet"Crohn with a diameter of 4 m, asymmetrical cushion. Annual growth of 3-5 cm. The needles are short, dark green in color, with a pair of white stripes on the back of the needle, very thick, twisted at the ends of the shoots. Shoots slightly raised up. Cones of purple color with yellow integumentary scales, 3.5-6 cm in size.Sensitive to high temperatures and drought. Frost resistant. Wind resistant. Characterized by rapid growthVery decorative. It looks equally good both in a single landing and in a group
Brandon ReckerThe height of the adult plant is 50-80 cm, the width is 80-120 cm. The crown is dwarf, spherical, very dense. Dyeing needles gray-greenThe growth per year is 3-4 cm, the height of 10 years is not more than 25 cm, the crown width is 35 cm. Winter hardiness is high. Grows in the sun and in partial shadeIt can be used in rockeries, in heather gardens, in single, group plantings in the foreground
"Franklin"Dwarf fir with a dense spherical crown. The needles are beautiful, short, shiny, silver-green. Shoots upThe growth per year is about 5-7 cm, the height of the plant at 10 years is 40 cm with a crown width of 40 cm. It grows in the sun and in partial shade.It can be used in rockeries, in heather gardens, in single, group plantings in the foreground. May act as a coloristic element of a decorative composition

Cultivation methods

Fraser fir grows quite slowly. This plant can be cultivated both in open ground in a personal plot for landscaping, and in room conditions.

In the open ground

To grow Fraser fir in open ground on a personal plot is quite simple. The soil should have a weak acidity. Loams and light soils are preferred. It is enough to comply with the agricultural technique of planting, and the evergreen plant will delight the gardener for many years:

  • planting can be carried out both in spring and autumn;
  • the landing pit should be twice as large in volume than the earthen lump with the root system;
  • excavated soil is recommended to be improved with high-quality compost;
  • a layer of improved soil should be poured to the bottom of the landing pit;
  • the earth lump must be moistened and installed in the landing pit so that it ends at the same level with the surface of the earth;
  • the root system must be sprinkled with improved soil and carefully tamped;
  • around the trunk you need to form a circular recess for irrigation.

The planted plant needs to be watered abundantly, and then it is recommended to mulch the soil surface with compost. Fir of this species grows slowly, and when cultivated in the Moscow region, the growth is not more than 7 centimeters per year.

In a pot

When growing Abies Fraseri in flower pots, a number of rules should be followed that will allow you to keep the plant in excellent shape and healthy condition:

  • it is necessary to use good drainage and a tray in the flower pot that will protect the root system from high humidity and stagnation of water, harmful to the root system;
  • watering is carried out as necessary, exclusively at the root, and the crown needs to be sprayed several times a week with clean, settled water;
  • on hot days it is advisable to sprinkle fir under a cool shower;
  • the first two years after planting, the plant does not need top dressing, and then granular formulations for conifers or Kemira Universal should be used as fertilizers;
  • there is no need to form a crown of decorative fir, but if desired, such events can be carried out in the spring;
  • it is necessary to transplant the plant once every couple of years, using a larger flower pot, while the root neck should be located at ground level

Fraser fir: growing and care

Care Features

Fir trees are not capricious in leaving and grow well, subject to the basic agricultural rules:

  • watering is carried out on dry days, and water-charging irrigation in the spring is necessary to uniformly awaken the plant;
  • fir is demanding on indicators of air humidity, and for full development it is necessary to sprinkle the crown four times a month;
  • in the early spring period, before mulching, granular fertilizers should be applied at the rate of 0.15 kg per square meter for young plants;
  • Perform forming pruning is not necessary, but sanitary pruning should be carried out before sap flow.

The plant is frost-resistant and does not need shelter for the winter, while maintaining decorativeness year-round.

Breeding of Fraser fir

Frazer's fir is bisexual, and under natural conditions the production of seed material by a plant begins at the age of 15 years. Seeds germinate well on mineral soils, mosses, peat, rotten stumps and other fairly moist natural materials.

At home, reproduction is carried out by sowing seeds in the spring, before the awakening of the kidneys. Allowed sowing in the winter. When conducting spring sowing, it is necessary to carry out snowing or cold stratification of the seed material for a couple of months. Germination is carried out at a temperature of 18 to 23 ° C and the implementation of moderate watering.

Diseases and Pests

A plant such as Fraser fir is quite resistant to various diseases and plant pests, but there are times when fir can lose its decorative effect due to damage by pathogens and parasites.

Name of disease or pestManifestation of defeatMethods of struggle
Spruce fir hermesVital activity of this aphid causes yellowing of firSpraying the plant in early spring with the Rogor or Antio preparations at the rate of 20 g of the product per 10 l of water
Fir cone leafletThe fir has a united growth point or young shoots, spider web nests are formed on themSpraying the plant in early spring with Kinmix or Decis preparations at the rate of 20 g of the product per 10 l of water
Fir shoot mothFir cones are affected, and the seed becomes unusableSpraying plants in early spring with preparations of "Decis" or "Actellik"
Rust of firThe needles begin to turn yellow, and rusty pillows form on the shootsAffected branches should be cut and burned with fallen needles, cut the slices with garden varieties, and spray the crown with 2% Bordeaux fluid

Use in landscape design

Planting large-sized plants is a very popular and convenient way to create a garden of different ages or landscaping a personal plot. It is recommended to purchase Abies Fraseri for cultivation from the largest and most trusted suppliers of open-ground plants.

Abies Fraseri has long been used in landscaping and landscaping. In a city, fir suffers from air pollution. In the suburbs, these plants look great in group and alley plantings and go well with white-birch birches, maples and various types of shrubs.

Such a fir is good for creating hedges, which are distinguished by the absence of the need for a haircut. Due to the presence of long non-decaying needles, fir branches have found application in modern floristry. The plant goes well with large-sized plants such as spruce, pine and larch. Low-growing varieties are recommended to be planted with other varieties of dwarf conifers and ground cover perennials.

We also offer you to read an article about balsam fir.

New Year's Fraser fir: cut and potted

Fraser fir, grown in a pot, can become a magnificent decoration of the New Year's celebration. Such a highly decorative plant allows you to create an unusually cozy and beautiful, very festive atmosphere. Fraser fir was used several times as a Christmas tree in the White House - the official tree of the President of the United States.

Like all types of fir, Abies Fraseri in cut form is able to stand for a very long time and practically does not lose needles. In order to extend the life of the cut plant, one should not overload its branches with heavy New Year decorations, and also place the fir away from heating appliances. A good effect is given by spraying needles with cool water.

Gardeners reviews

The very slowly growing Abies Fraseri fir attracts gardeners' attention due to its high frost resistance and unpretentiousness. According to many owners of such wonderful plants, fir of this species is demanding on air humidity, therefore, in especially dry periods and for young trees, frequent and plentiful watering should be carried out. The plant is very responsive to sprinkling the crown.

Trees of this species grow best on sandy and loamy, well-drained soils. Young plants respond positively to fertilizing, and age-related specimens do not need fertilizers. In early spring, it is desirable to carry out sanitary pruning, which positively affects the appearance of the plant and its decorativeness.

All Abies Fraseri varieties are very decorative throughout the year. Fluffy and lush plants of this species are an excellent decoration of the garden. Abroad, such a plant is widely used as a Christmas tree. The soft aroma, shape, strong branches and the ability to maintain their soft needles for a long time make Fraser fir one of the best trees that are used as the main attribute of the New Year.

How to care for conifers

Currently, there are two channels of supply of this unusually attractive and decorative evergreen tree to Russia: Europe and America. In addition, gardeners keen on growing ornamental plants have a great opportunity to independently grow Abies Fraseri fir from seeds.