Picea meyeri (Meyer Spruce) China
Meyer spruce is a perfect tree for many growers. It has beautiful blue-green blunt foliage with excellent needle retention and it appears to be free of insects and disease. It has a medium growth rate and once established it will average a foot of growth per year. It has a self shaping, upsweeping branching habit which lends itself to Christmas tree production, ornamentals and the live tree market. It grows well on both light and heavy soils and its survival rate after planting is almost 100%. Finally, it has a dominant leader and responds well to shearing. It does not break bud early and can withstand temperatures from -50°F to +100°F. It has a tendency to grow wide.
Abies lasiocarpa-var. arizonica (Corkbark Fir) Arizona-New Mexico
Hardy to -50 degree Fer., this beautiful, self shaping fir with its blue-green foliage is now being grown across the United States, Canada, and Europe. This tree is relatively slow growing until it reaches 3 feet and then it takes off. It has excellent needle retention and does not winter burn. It breaks bud early and is susceptible to fern rust. It makes a beautiful Christmas tree and a perfect specimen for ornamental plantings. This fir grows best on a northeast slope.
Abies nordmanniana (Nordmann Fir) Georgia Russia
The Ambolauri region of Georgia is a good seed source to grow. Hardy to -30°F this beautiful tree breaks bud late and requires very little shearing. It has beautiful, dark green foliage and it grows very well on heavy soils. It appears to be resistant to twig aphid and spider mites. It is now being widely planted in the United States and Europe. The deer love this tree. Growth rate is slow to medium. Efforts are being made in Denmark to establish seed orchards of a faster growing, late flushing Nordmann.
Abies bornmuelleriana (Turkish Fir)
Hardy to -30°F this tree is getting a lot of attention from growers because it can tolerate dry conditions and it is resistant to Phytophthora Root Rot. It has a tendency to grow wide and its foliage is a beautiful, dark green. It responds well to shearing and does not break bud early. It performs best in full sun and does not like heavy soil conditions. It makes a beautiful Christmas tree and like the Nordmann Fir the deer love it. Growth rate is medium.
Abies koreana (Korean Fir) Korea
Hardy to -50°F. Exquisite foliage (flash of white) describes this beautiful tree. Good growth rate depending on its seed source. It tends to cone early at a young age on some sites. It tolerates many soil types and it does not winter burn. It responds well to shearing and it tends to grow wide. It appears to be aphid and mite resistant and it makes a beautiful Christmas tree and ornamental.
Abies balsamea phanerolepis (Bracted balsam)
There is a lot of interest in growing this West Virginia seed source (Canaan fir ) due to its ability to grow well in heavy soils and its ability to break bud later than most seed sources of Balsam Fir. Canaan Fir is a fast grower which responds well to shearing at a young age. It does very well on clay soils and does not cone early. Seed source is critical.