Christmas firs (Abies nordmanniana)

Christmas fir lives in the mountains

Image - Wikimedia / Paul

The christmas fir trees They are one of the tallest conifers that we can find in a forest ... but also in a garden if it has a few years behind it 🙂. Their growth rate is slow, but that is precisely one of the characteristics that make them so special, since it gives us the opportunity to enjoy them to the fullest year after year.

They are not plants for everyone, but if you have a wide field and a lot of patience, or you just would like to know what Christmas firs are and what they need to be well, below you have your complete file 🙂.

Origin and characteristics

Christmas fir trees can't stand the heat

Image -

Our protagonists are some evergreen conifers originating from the Caucasus and Asia Minor whose scientific name is Abies nordmanniana. They are popularly known as Christmas fir, Caucasian fir, Normandy fir, or Nordmann fir. They can reach 60 meters in height, with a more or less pyramidal bearing. The trunk is straight, with greyish bark, being smooth in young specimens and cracked in adults.

The leaves are 2 to 3cm long by 2mm wide and 0,5mm thick, with a lustrous green color. The male inflorescences are yellowish-green, and the female ones are greenish. The cone is cylindrical, 10-20cm long by 4-5cm wide, and exudes resin.


Two are known:

  • Abies nordmanniana subsp. Nordmannian: known as Caucasian fir. As its common name indicates, it comes from the Caucasus, specifically from the mountainous regions. We can also find it in northern Turkey. Its most tender leaves are covered with fluff.
  • Abies nordmanniana subsp. equi-trojani: known as Turkish fir. It lives in the mountains of northwestern Turkey. Young leaves are glabrous.

In addition, it must be taken into account that they tend to hybridize with other species of Abies, such as the Spanish fir.

What are their cares?

The leaves of the Christmas fir are evergreen and green in color

If you want to have a copy of Christmas fir trees, we recommend that you provide it with the following care:


Before knowing if the plant we want is going to be able to live well in our area, it is important to know what climate it lives in to avoid surprises. In the case of Abies nordmanniana, is a tree that only good in cool areas, with mild summers and cold winters with frosts and high humidity.


Of course, must be abroad, in semi-shadow. It is a plant that needs to feel the passing of the seasons, otherwise its leaves will fall and most likely it will not recover.


The land must be fertile, slightly acidic (does not tolerate limestone), and with very good drainage. In the event that ours is not the case, we will have to make a hole of at least 1m x 1m, cover it with a shading mesh and fill it with growing substrate for acidic plants (such as this) mixed with perlite in equal parts. To the mixture we can also add 10 or 15% worm humus (get it here!) to improve soil fertility.

It is not grown in a pot, unless it is young, or at that time we do not have where to plant it, which also happens 🙂. In these situations, a first layer of arlite or volcanic gravel must be added, and then filled with 60% black peat + 30% perlite + 10% earthworm humus.


Powdered guano compost is very good for Christmas fir

Guano powder.

From early spring to late summer It has to be paid with Organic fertilizers, like guano (you can buy here!), once a month.


It multiplies by seeds in autumn (It needs to be cold before germinating). The step by step to follow is as follows:

  1. First, a clear plastic tupperware with a lid is filled with previously moistened vermiculite.
  2. The seeds are then sown and sprinkled with copper or sulfur to prevent opportunistic fungi from damaging them.
  3. They are then covered with a layer of vermiculite.
  4. Then, the lid is put on and the tupperware is placed in the refrigerator, in the section where the sausages, milk, etc. are placed.
  5. Once a week and until spring, the tupperware will be removed and the lid will be removed for a while so that the air is renewed.
  6. In spring, the seeds will be sown in a pot with a growing medium for acidic plants.

If all goes well, they will germinate throughout the season.


It resists up to -17ºC, but it cannot live in hot climates.

What uses does it have?

Christmas fir trees are widely used to decorate homes in December / January

Image - Wikimedia / 4028mdk09


Christmas firs are plants with great ornamental value, so much so that the cultivar »Golden spreader» won the award from the Royal Horticultural Society. They are very beautiful as isolated specimens, or in alignments.

In addition, although it should not be done (since it is normal that they end up later in a garbage container), they are the classic fir tree that you have in homes during the Christmas holidays. Here you have information on how to get him to survive the holidays.

The extraction of specimens as well as their logging in the habitat is prohibited.


The wood is white and smooth, which is why it is used to make paper.

What did you think of the Christmas fir trees?

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