Abies nordmanniana
Common Name: Caucasian fir 
Type: Needled evergreen
Family: Pinaceae
Native Range: Northeastern Turkey, northern Iran, Caucasus
Zone: 4 to 6
Height: 35.00 to 50.00 feet
Spread: 15.00 to 25.00 feet
Bloom Time: Non-flowering
Bloom Description: Non-flowering
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Medium
Leaf: Evergreen
Other: Winter Interest

Culture

Best grown in rich, consistently moist, acidic, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Best in full sun. Trees grow poorly in heavy clay soils. Trees are native to cool climates, and are not recommended for planting in the hot and humid summer conditions south of USDA Zone 6.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Abies nordmanniana, commonly called Caucasian fir or Nordmann fir, is native to the Caucasus Mountains. This is a dense, pyramidal conifer that typically grows to 50' tall and 20' wide in cultivation, but may reach 200' tall in its native habitat. Trees are typically branched to the ground. Branches are densely clad with flattened, glossy dark green needles (to 1 1/4” long). Needles have two white bands underneath. Bark is charcoal gray. Cylindrical seed cones (to 6" long) are dark reddish-brown. As is distinctive with the firs, the cones appear upright on the branches. Cones disintegrate (scales drop) after the seeds ripen.

Genus name is an ancient Latin name for a tree described by Pliny around 77 A.D.

Specific epithet honors Alexander Davidovic von Nordmann (1803-1866), Finnish naturalist, who discovered this species growing in the Caucasus in 1836-1837.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems. Insect pests include balsam woolly adelgids, bark beetles, spruce budworms, aphids, bagworms and scale. Spider mites may occur in hot conditions. Disease problems include cankers, heart rot, root rot, needle rust and twig blight Trees are generally intolerant of urban pollution.

Garden Uses

Specimen fir for the landscape. Ornamental yard tree. Species is a popular commercially grown Christmas tree. Not recommended for the St. Louis climate.