File:Baby whitefir.jpg Abies concolor
Common Name White Fir, Silver Fir, Balsam Fir
Latin Name Abies concolor
Family Pinaceae
Sunset zones / USDA zones 1-9,14-24,34-37,39-41 / 3-7
Type / Form Tree / Large
Native Habitat 3,900 to 8,900 feet in California Sierra, into lower elevations in Cascades and Rockies
Soil Dry to moist, decomposed granite, sand, clay loam, limestone, low to some organic content, well drained; like moisture but does not require it
Exposure Some shade preferred when young, otherwise full sun
Water Once to twice per month depending on soil in hot weather
Height X Width 30 feet X 12 feet , 80 feet tall unusual, grows slowly, likes host tree for first ten years
Protective Mechanism None
Leaves Evergreen, needle-like light green leaves
Flowers Monoecious; males yellow- to red-toned, catkin-like; females inconspicuous, yellow-brown.
Bark / Roots Thin, smooth and gray on young trees, with resin pockets. On old trees, thick, ashy gray with deep, irregular furrows. Twigs are dark orange at first, becoming gray-green, then gray. Leaf scars are circular.
Maintenance Prune early to strengthen
Propagation

Seed - sow early February in a greenhouse or outdoors in March. Germination is often poor, usually taking about 6 - 8 weeks. Stratification is said to produce a more even germination so it is probably best to sow the seed in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe in the autumn. The seed remains viable for up to 5 years if it is well stored. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on for at least their first winter in pots. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Alternatively, if you have sufficient seed, it is possible to sow in an outdoor seedbed. One report says that it is best to grow the seedlings on in the shade at a density of about 550 plants per square meter while another report says that they are best grown on in a sunny position.

Pests and Diseases

Seed chalids typically destroy 8 to 10% of white fir seeds and have destroyed up to 60% of a crop. Cone moths, cone midges, and cone maggots also reduce yields. In California and Oregon, the Douglas squirrel cuts and caches cones, but generally takes less than 1% of the cone crop.  Deer browse on young shoots killing them.

Landscape uses Erosion control, low maintenance, foliage accent, background
Garden Suitability Thornless, Songbird, Fragrant, Mountain
Ornamental Value Evergreen, popular Christmas tree, leaves have lemony fragrance, needs a host plat (ideally an oak), need some shade in infancy, heat marginal
Nature Value Host to insects and birds
Native American Uses Construction, medicinal, bark used to make tan dye
Links  
    Data http://www.biogeog.ucsb.edu/projects/gap/data/cnddb/85320.html
    Data www.pfaf.org/database/plants.php?Abies+concolor
    Images and data http://www.hort.uconn.edu/plants/a/abicon/abicon1.html
    Images and data http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abies_concolor
    Images and data http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/depts/hort/consumer/factsheets/trees-new/abies_concolor.html
    Images and data http://hort.ufl.edu/trees/ABICONA.pdf
    Images and data http://www.desert-tropicals.com/Plants/Pinaceae/Abies_concolor.html
    Images and data http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/117333/
    Images and data http://www.cnr.vt.edu/dendro/dendrology/syllabus/factsheet.cfm?ID=94
    Images and data http://www.floridata.com/ref/a/abie_con.cfm
    Images and data http://www.nearctica.com/trees/conifer/abies/Aconcol.htm
    Images and data http://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=ABCO
    Images and data http://www.blueplanetbiomes.org/white_fir.htm
    Images and data http://www.wnmu.edu/academic/nspages2/gilaflora/abies_concolor.html
    Images and data http://www.calflora.org/cgi-bin/species_query.cgi?where-calrecnum=3
    Images and data http://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/plants/tree/abicon/all.html
    Images and data http://www.conifers.org/pi/ab/concolor.htm
    Nursery, images, and data http://www.laspilitas.com/plants/2.htm
    Nursery, images, and data http://www.cnplx.info/nplx/species?taxon=Abies+concolor
    Nursery Oak Hills Nursery, 13874 Ranchero Road, Oak Hills, 92345, 760-947-6261
    Distribution map http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=ABCO
    Distribution map and data http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/Volume_1/abies/concolor.htm
  http://www.efloras.org/florataxon.aspx?flora_id=1&taxon_id=233500005
Note: High pollinator and high fuel value = fire hazard
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