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Christmas Fir Tree Types, Usage, and Ecology

Archana is an admirer of nature. She likes to see its wonderful creations: flora and fauna, mountains, sky and put her thoughts on paper.

Douglas fir

Douglas fir

Fir trees grow on mountains, the genus of 48- 56 species of evergreen coniferous trees. It is part of the Pinaceae family. The trees can be found in North, Central America, Asia, Europe, and North Africa. They grow on mountains over the ranges. However, Firs are related to the genus Cedar.

The genus name is taken from the Latin, which means ‘to rise’ to height. They are large trees, reaching heights around 33 to 262 ft tall with trunk diameters of 1 ft to 13 ft when it matures.

However, Fir trees are found in distinguished types from other members of the pine family. Its needle-like leaves are attractive and attached singly to the branches with a base resembling a suction cup and its cones. Fir’s scientific name is Abies. You can find different species based on the size, shape of the cones, and leaves.

Cacti is the same as the Fir tree also has needles. Cacti help you to learn to be grounded in life. It remains evergreen in every situation or season, whether it is cold or dry. You can say it is a smaller version of fir having some beautiful stories and cultural significance.


Along the river's summer walk, The withered tufts of asters nod; And trembles on its arid stalk The hoar plume of the golden-rod. And on a ground of somber fir, And azure-studded juniper, The silver birch its buds of purple shows, And scarlet berries tell where bloomed the sweet wild-rose!

— John Greenleaf Whittier, The Last Walk in Autumn

Giant fir leaf

Giant fir leaf

Types of Fir Christmas Tree

Fir trees are the evergreen coniferous trees and used for Christmas, including Fraser, noble, and balsam.

1. Balsam

The balsam is best known for its dense, dark-green leaves and conical shape that are flat and needle-like. The leaves are of the balsam fir having hints of shining silvery-white color and are used for Christmas bouquets and Christmas wreaths. The tree not just looks gorgeous but smells great. Its scent makes it one of the best firs and is used at Christmas.

2. Fraser

Fraser is known for its pleasant scent. It has yellow-green branches in a conical shape. Therefore, it is also one of the great options for Christmas, ornaments, garland, and holiday décor. Its spiral and needle-like leaves look beautiful. However, it grows anywhere up to 50 feet tall.

3. Canaan

Canaan is similar to Fraser and balsam and is referred to as the hybrid of both. It grows in medium size, having fantastic needle retention, like the Fraser. The leaves are green and flat. They grow to the mountains of West Virginia, and nowadays, it is a newcomer to the Christmas tree market.

4. Douglas

A douglas offers you an enchanting view of a full pyramid shape with dark green or blue leaves that releases rich scents. Leaves of Douglas are flat and soft. It grows in medium-size anywhere up to 330 feet tall.


Silver fir covered with snow

Silver fir covered with snow

Classification of Firs

Abies

Abies can be found in central, southern, and Eastern Europe and Asia, and there are different types of firs like:

  1. Silver
  2. Sicilian
  3. Greek
  4. Bulgarian
  5. Nordmann
  6. Turkish
  7. Uludag
  8. Spanish
  9. Moroccan
  10. Algerian
  11. Syrian

Balsamea

Balsamea can be found in North America and northern Asia.

  1. Fraser
  2. Balsam
  3. Bracted balsam
  4. Subalpine
  5. Cork bark
  6. The Rocky Mountains subalpine
  7. Siberian
  8. Sakhalin
  9. Korean
  10. Khinghan

Grandis

Grandis can be found in Guatemala, western North America, Mexico, Honduras, El Salvador, etc.

  1. Giant
  2. Coast grand
  3. Interior grand
  4. White
  5. Rocky Mountain white
  6. Sierra Nevada white
  7. Coahuila
  8. Jalisco
  9. Guatemalan


Coast grand fir

Coast grand fir

Along the river's summer walk, The withered tufts of asters nod; And trembles on its arid stalk The hoar plume of the golden-rod. And on a ground of somber fir, And azure-studded juniper, The silver birch its buds of purple shows, And scarlet berries tell where bloomed the sweet wild-rose!

— John Greenleaf Whittier, The Last Walk in Autumn

Fraser fir

Fraser fir

Usage: Making Plywood and Drywall

Firs' wood is considered unsuitable for making useful things such as furniture, cupboards, etc. It is often used for the manufacture of plywood. This genus has no decay resistance quality. It is generally recommended to use indoor drywall on framing.

Fir Maintains Ecology

Apart from its usage, fir serves itself as a food plant to the caterpillars of Lepidoptera species. Balsam fir is eaten by the autumnal moth, conifer swift, grey pug, the engrailed, mottled umber, and the tortrix moths. However, European silver fir also serves itself as food to caterpillars.

Meanwhile, nature is beyond beautiful. It is always ready to serve its other creations such as insects, pests, animals, and humans as the Passionflower. It also maintains ecology as the fir tree.

Fir Tree and Ayurveda

Talispatra or Abies is used in Ayurveda to treat cough suppressant.

The Best Fir for Christmas Tree

Balsam fir, noble fir, and Nordmann fir are popular Christmas trees. These firs are aromatic foliage that does not shed its needles on drying out. However, Korean fir and Fraser fir are used as a decorative tree, which produces bright colored cones even at their young age.

Abies fir

Abies fir

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 Archana Das