119 Concord Place
Syracuse, New York
Phone/Fax: 315-471-5854

Special Topics

Evergreen Identification

Fir (Abies)

The needles of our fraser or balsam fir tree hold so well that we leave it up until Valentines Day!Fraser (Abies fraseri) and balsam (A. balsamea) fir are very popular as Christmas trees because they’ll hold their needles until at least Valentine’s Day - which is when we traditionally take our fraser fir tree down. They are, however, only occasionally planted in Central New York landscapes.

Concolor fir (A. concolor), below, on the other hand, is very well-adapted to hot, dry and exposed growing conditions across upstate New York and could be Concolor fir can grow at least fifty feet tall and twenty to thirty feet wide in Central New York landscapes.considered as a faster-growing alternative to Colorado/blue spruce where appropriate.

As a group, the firs are similar to Norway and Colorado/blue spruce in both form and size. Their needles, however, are flat in cross-section, like those of yews and hemlock. Two pale, white bands run the length of the underside of The pale white bands on the underside of fir tree needles spread almost to the edge of the needles, while the bands on the underside of hemlock needles remian close to the central vein.each needle and extend almost to the edges - unlike those of hemlock, at right in the photo at right, which tend to remain very close to the center of each needle.