The White (Concolor Fir) Fir grows in acidic, drought tolerant, loamy, moist, sandy, well drained soils.
The White Fir, sometimes called Concolor Fir, is a favorite Christmas tree among discerning buyers. It is also an important timber tree in its natural range within the Sierra Mountains and the western slopes of the central Rockies. It is widely planted as a beautiful ornamental in the East. Not surprisingly, White Fir is named for its light-colored bark and the silvery or "glaucous" color of its needles.
The beautiful White (or Concolor) Fir has light-colored bark and silver blue-green needles. Tolerates most soils and drought. Matures at 50', 20' spread in the home landscape. (zones 4-7)
Grouse like to eat the buds and needles, and find white fir a good roosting tree. The seeds are eaten by squirrels, rodents, chickadees, crossbills, and Clark's nutcrackers. Deer browse on seedlings, buds and needles, and porcupines gnaw on the bark.
White Fir is one of the 40 members of its genus worldwide, and nine in North America. Its common name is descriptive of the foliage, whereas its scientific name is not too helpful. "Abies" is simply the ancient Latin word for Fir trees, and "Concolor" means "together, or of one color."
This wild mountain resident has no outstanding credits to its name in the lumber business. It does have commercial value and is harvested for miscellaneous products, but it is far overshadowed by its stronger woodland associates. Long ago, naturalist Donald Peattie predicted the real glory of this species. "Rather does the future of this tree lie in its value as an ornamental," he wrote in 1953. It is today a favorite for urban landscaping.
Normal moisture required; drought tolerant.
The needles of the White Fir are silvery blue to silver-green; flat; blunt; 2 to 3 inches long. (The longest of the Fir family.)
The fruit is elongated; upright; 3 to 6 inches long; dry or hard; brown.