Department of Horticulture New York State Horticulture Study Guide for Youth 4-H Logo


Flowers &
Indoor Plants

Fruits & Nuts



Special Topics



Cornell University

Abies sp.

fir fir fir fir fir
Click on thumbnails for larger image.

What about it?

The fir is a large, narrowleaf evergreen tree with spirally arranged leaves. The entire tree is shaped like a pyramid and the branches arranged in whorls around the trunk The leaves of the fir are usually straight and needle-like. (Remember... flat as a fir, spiked like a spruce.) The fruit of the fir tree is a woody cone. The crushed foliage of a fir has the distinct odor of tangerine.

What is it used for?

The fir tree can function as an ornamental, barrier, or shade tree.

Where does it grow? How do we grow it?

The fir grows best in moist, well-drained soil. It is, however, tolerant of dry soils. They are fast growing trees. Very little pruning is required, unless you plan to shape the firs as decorative shrubbery. Fir trees should be spaced 25 feet apart, 10-15 feet for a screen or windbreak. Propagation of fir trees can be done through seeds, by cuttings, or by grafting.

What are its primary problems?

Insects and diseases common to the fir include cotton aphids and Rhabdocline needle cast, rust, and cankers.

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Copyright, Department of Horticulture, Cornell University.