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Abies squamata

flaky fir

An evergreen, coniferous tree growing up to 40m height when grown in optimal conditions. This species is characteristic for its flaky, papery bark, very similar to a birch tree. The reddish-brown bark develops on trees from around 6th year of growth. Shoots are densely covered with thin hairs. New vegetative buds are red-brown and resinous. 1.5-2.5 long needles are densely arranged, attractive blue-green, with two pale stomatal lines on the underside. Seed cones are dark blue when young, contrasting with pale foliage in spring.

Size
Ultimate height
Higher than 12 metres
Time to ultimate height
20–50 years
Ultimate spread
4–8 metres
Growing conditions
Clay
Loam
Sand
Moisture
Moist but well–drained
pH
Acid, Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Blue Green Blue Purple
Summer Blue Green Blue Brown
Autumn Blue Green Brown
Winter Blue Green
Position
  • Full sun
Aspect

East–facing or North–facing or South–facing or West–facing

Exposure
Exposed or Sheltered
Hardiness
H7
Botanical details
Family
Pinaceae
Native to the UK
No
Foliage
Evergreen
Habit
Columnar upright
Genus

Abies are evergreen conifers, often very tall, with whorled branches bearing flattened, linear leaves, often whitish beneath, and on the upper branches, large cones which break up whilst attached to the tree

Name status

Correct

Plant range
China, Tibet

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How to grow

Cultivation

Grows best in deep, slightly acidic, moist but well-drained soils in cooler climates.

Propagation

Propagate by seed

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • Architectural
  • City and courtyard gardens
Pruning

No pruning required

Pests

Generally pest-free, but may be affected by conifer aphid and adelgids.

Diseases

Generally disease-free, but may be affected by honey fungus.

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