Nordmann Fir – Abies nordmanniana

Tree of the Week

28th November 2019 | Info

Common name: Nordmann Fir

Scientific name: Abies nordmanniana 

Introduction: Nordmann Firs are non-UK native evergreen conifers that are native to Turkey, Georgia and Russia. They can grow up to 30+ metres tall and are a popular choice of Christmas tree. 


Leaves: The needle-like leaves of a Nordmann Fir have a dark green, glossy upper side and an underside which is white and blue striped. They begin at the bottom of a shoot and are more ‘flat’ and proceed to point upwards the further down the shoot where they form. Nordmann Firs are evergreen and retain their ‘needles’ well. They also (unlike other popular Christmas tree species) have no scent.

Buds: Conical shaped buds that are resin-less are typically a pale red colour.

Bark: The bark of a Nordmann Fir begins green when young before turning brown and then grey. It is relatively smooth and has little to no resin-filled blisters. The resin that is produced protects the tree from the attack of fungal and bacterial pathogens As the tree matures the bark then begins to break into plates and becomes more wrinkled.

Form: Fairly large and cone-shaped. Mature trees may develop a flatter crown.


Nordmann Firs are monoecious meaning they have both male and female flowers on the same tree. The female flowers of a Nordmann Fir bloom first and form on the upper side of branches, with male flowers forming on the underside. After pollination from the pollen of other trees, barrel-shaped cones are developed and stand vertically at the end of branches (only after the first 15-20 years of the tree’s life). Once the cones are then ripe, they then fall and seeds are dispersed through the wind.

Growth Habit:

Slow growing and can reach heights of 30+ metres.

Interesting Facts:

Nordmann Firs are the most popular Christmas tree variety in Denmark.

Ecological Importance:

Nordmann Fir provide shelter for insects withing grooves of their bark while also providing nesting sites for birds who also feed on the insects and cones on the tree.

Properties of Nordmann Fir/Wood and its Uses:

Nordmann Firwood is soft and white, and is used for general building materials and paper.

Styling of Nordmann Fir/Where to Find Them:

Often grown as ornamental trees in gardens or parks. They are also a popular Christmas tree variety.

Associated Pests and Diseases:

Can be affected by woolly adelgids, twig aphids, bagworms, scales and spider mites. However, they are relatively disease resistant.


Pruning and Pruning Qualities: Nordmann Firs typically require little-to-no pruning however they do respond well to pinching, thinning, shearing and rejuvenating. Pruning (if needed/required) should be carried out late-spring early-summer.  Like most trees, if you spot any dead, diseased or dying branches, then you can also remove these as soon as you spot them.

Growth Rate after Pruning: Can help to maintain attractive shape and formation.

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