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Concolor Fir

Known as one of the most beautiful of the Firs, the Concolor or White Fir has multiple uses in the Midwest. It is frequently grown as a Christmas tree, due to its’ elegant symmetrical form, layered branching pattern and upward swept needles, which give it a manicured appearance. Needle color can range from powdery silver-blue to grayish green, green, and every shade in between. Concolor Fir is an excellent substitute for the over-used and increasingly disease prone Colorado Spruce.  It is also one of the best Firs in terms of drought and heat tolerance, and it is also tolerant of alkaline clay loam soils, as long as the soil drains well. The Concolor Fir requires full to partial sun, and should have open exposure for best performance. It can also be used as a windbreak and to create a screen in the landscape.  The mature height of a Concolor Fir in the Midwest is 40 to 50 feet, although it reaches much higher heights in its’ native western range. Obviously, a large location with plenty of growing room is needed to accommodate this tree. Plant the Concolor Fir in an appropriate site and your reward will be a beautiful, thriving tree.

The Concolor Fir is hardy in USDA Zones 3 through 7. As mentioned, it has good drought tolerance and it is also somewhat salt tolerant. Pests are generally not serious as long as the Concolor Fir is planted in the proper conditions. Stress free plants are ordinarily pest free plants.

In addition to the “straight species” form of the Concolor Fir, there are several cultivars available in local nurseries. Most of the cultivars possess striking shades of needle color as their distinguishing feature.  There are also some dwarf and mounding cultivars, but these are less commonly found at nurseries. The Concolor Fir is a hardy beautiful Fir that deserves inclusion as an evergreen component for our “urban diversified tree species list”. It is a tree with decades of reliable Midwestern performance to count on.

Harold Hoover
Kramer Tree Specialists
Board Certified Master Arborist  IL-1478B

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