Fir trees types span a variety of shapes and sizes. These conifers range from medium-sized plants to giant trees that can reach hundreds of feet in height.

Fir Trees Types for Landscape Designing

This article lists some fir types, many of which are beloved Christmas trees that you can grow in your home with minimal effort. Read further and choose the one that suits you!

Beautiful Fir Trees For Every Landscape

1. Balsam Fir

The balsam fir (Abies balsamea) is known for its lush blue-green foliage and evergreen nature. The tree emits a beautiful fragrance throughout the year and has blisters over its bark. A bracted variant called A. balsamea phanerolepis or Canaan fir is also commonly available.

– Characteristics

The balsam fir’s dense foliage comprises dense needles with silvery white bands underneath them. These are slow-growing trees with a conical habit and produce around 2–4 inch upright cones on their branches that change color with age.

Balsam Fir Aromatic Evergreen Tree

Most wildlife consumes these cones as food, but they are toxic for humans and pets. They are very popular as Christmas trees. There are many Christmas tree types so make sure to know how to identify them.

– Growth Requirements

Balsam needs loamy, rich, moist, and well-draining soil. They thrive in full sun and partial shade and require watering during their early growth, followed by supplementary watering during droughts and dry spells once mature.

2. Grand Fir

As the name suggests, Abies grandis is one of the tallest fir trees and a rapid grower. They are native to North America. When fully mature, it can reach over 200 feet in height and live for many decades.

– Characteristics

These firs resemble the balsam fir, making them quite popular as Christmas trees. The foliage is dark green with white underlines, producing an orange-like smell when crushed.

Majestic Beauty of Grand Fir

However, its bark is gray and has a smooth texture, unlike the balsam species. The cones change color to reddish-brown once they mature.

– Growth Requirements

Grand firs prefer cool or moderate surrounding temperatures and can withstand freezing temperatures. They prefer to grow out in the open, where they have full exposure to the sunlight. They will have a reduced growth rate if you grow them indoors. It will take quite some time before they can reach their full size.

3. White Fir

The white fir (Abies concolor or Concolor fir) is a large, majestic tree with impressive size and dense foliage. This evergreen tree is native to the North American mountains but can be easily grown in other regions.

– Characteristics

The tree has blue-green foliage that adds subtle interest to the surrounding landscape. The leaves are flat, needle-like, and generally do not have stalks.

Blue Green Wonder of White Fir Tree

Young saplings have smooth barks which turn wrinkly once they mature. It is quite popular for landscaping.

– Growth Requirements

Generally, these trees prefer sandy and gravelly soil, like the one found in mountainous regions. However, it is very adaptable and will thrive in many soil types except in waterlogged conditions. The plant can easily tolerate full sun and partial shade. On the other hand, they are very drought-tolerant and do not require regular watering sessions.

4. Noble Fir

Noble fir (Abies procera) got its name because it is the largest American fir. This majestic giant is native to the northern pacific mountains, growing up to 270 feet in height.

– Characteristics

The young fir tree starts its growth in a conical shape, but it takes a more rounded shape as it develops and matures, with short branches growing horizontally. The trunk of this tree is silvery-gray in color, and its thin needle-like foliage can be gray-green or bright bluish-gray.

Noble Fir is an Elegant Conifer

They are excellent as Christmas trees, great for outdoor landscaping, and a good food source for birds and other wildlife.

– Growth Requirements

Noble fir is also a low-maintenance plant that can adapt to almost every soil type if it is a cool, moist, and well-draining soil mixture. It can grow easily under the sun or in partial shade but requires at least four hours of sunlight to thrive. These trees inhabit cold, snowy mountainous regions, requiring constant moisture to meet their growth requirements.

5. Korean Fir

The Korean fir (Abies koreana) is another tree from the coniferous family of fir trees that produces cones and needle-like leaves. It maintains its conical growth habit even after it has matured, which makes it a popular Christmas tree choice.

– Characteristics

These firs generally stay under 30 feet tall and take their time growing up, which makes them much smaller than the others. The needles present on their branches are dark green with silvery undersides.

Korean Fir Tree Looks Striking Ornamental

Their distinctive cones start with a purple tint and mature to a brown hue. Some of these species can take about 50 years to reach their full height, so only choose this if you are in for the long haul.

– Growth Requirements

The ideal time to plant this tree is during the fall season at a location that receives full sun exposure and has acidic, evenly moist, well-draining soil rich in organic matter. The plant needs little water, so it is best to water weekly in summer, especially with no rainfall.

6. Pacific Silver Fir

Abies amabilis is a medium-sized evergreen tree that has a slower growth rate. The tree is a hardy plant with the right climate conditions. It should not be confused with the European silver fir (Abies alba).

– Characteristics

The silver fir grows up to 98 feet in height once it has matured. The plant is among the few shade-tolerant trees, and it does not tolerate winds and atmospheric pollution very well. The tree is also a good source of edibles and has medical uses.

Graceful Giant of Pacific Silver Fir Tree

Its bark, resin, and shoots are used in different teas, chewing gums, and tonics for digestive and respiratory issues.

– Growth Requirements

The tree likes to grow in moist, rich soils with good drainage. Soggy situations can result in damage to the tree’s root system. The plant can tolerate shade, but dense shade will slow its growth. The trees are also vulnerable to strong winds and atmospheric pollution, so these factors are worth considering before planting the tree.

7. Subalpine Fir

The subalpine fir (Abies lasiocarpa) is a native species that grows in the mountainous regions of the far north in Alaska and south in Arizona. For this reason, it’s often called the Rocky Mountain fir.

– Characteristics

The tree can reach a height of 150 feet if you provide it with the ideal conditions for its growth. This majestic giant has attractive blue-green foliage that is needle-like in appearance.

Mountain Majesty Subalpine Fir Tree

The female cones are upright with a reddish-purple color, while the male cones are smaller and point downwards. The seeds mature within the cones when they fall to the ground and come out during winter to propagate new seedlings.

– Growth Requirements

This fir grows best in moist, well-draining conditions that pose no serious threat to the plant’s root system. The younglings need consistent watering, but their requirements change as they mature. The tree does very well in harsh conditions and is cold-hardy, enabling it to thrive in many different growing environments.

8. California Red Fir

The California fir (Abies magnifica) is a beautiful native evergreen that grows tall. These wild trees grow in the coastal and mountainous regions of the Pacific Northwest. It is an excellent addition to any property with the required space and resources.

– Characteristics

California firs are long-lived plants that grow very tall with flattened, green-needle leaves.

California Red Fir Towering Forest Tree

The bark is thin, starting smooth and gray when the tree is still young and turning uneven, fissured, and orange-brown as it matures.

– Growth Requirements

The tree grows best in full sun and tolerates shady areas. It thrives in rich, moist soil that has excellent drainage. Long periods of waterlogged conditions will be harmful when young. Deep soils are ideal, but they can also adapt to shallow or rocky soils.

9. Nordmann Fir

The Nordmann or Caucasian fir (Abies nordmanniana) is an evergreen plant native to Turkey and the Caucasian regions, including Iran and Russia. It can take a decade to reach a height of 7 feet, but it can eventually grow up to 190 feet.

– Characteristics

The Nordmann has a bushy growth habit and has a very symmetrical shape. Their needle-like leaves are very soft despite their appearance, making the tree very safe for children. It is also easy to decorate during the holidays, making it suitable for a Christmas tree.

Stately Christmas Tree Nordmann Fir

The plant has dark green glossy leaves with a brown-gray trunk and emits a pleasant natural scent.

– Growth Requirements

As with most fir trees, the first requirement for a healthy plant is a good location. Even though the tree grows slowly, it will eventually need a lot of space to survive. The tree is used to cold temperatures and prefers partial shade. The soil should be loamy, rich, and well-draining, as water logging will lead to root rot.

10. West Himalayan Fir

Abies pindrow, the long-distant cousin of the East Himalayan fir (Abies spectabilis), is a perennial woody evergreen member of the fir family. It is frost-hardy and native to the western Himalayan range, usually found in areas from Afghanistan to Nepal.

– Characteristics

The tree can grow as tall as 180 feet once it has matured, with a trunk diameter of 7.5 feet. The tree has a narrow conical growth habit with gray textured bark.

West Himalayan Fir Tree

It has dark green leaves and cylindrical cones that start purple and turn brown with age.

– Growth Requirements

Due to the massive size of the specimen, you will have to allocate a lot of space before planting the tree. Once mature, the plant tolerates frost and cold temperatures but needs protection from the elements when young. Rich, moist, and well-draining soil is the perfect growth environment.

11. Douglas Fir

Formally called Pseudotsuga menziesii, this is one of the tallest coniferous trees in the world, widely used as a Christmas tree during the holiday season. Despite being called “fir,” it does not belong to the fir family, and neither does it belong to the spruce trees or pine trees families.

– Characteristics

It is an evergreen tree that can reach incredible heights. Once the tree has matured, it can grow anywhere between 40 to 300 feet.

Douglas Fir is Strong Timber Tree

Thus, if you plan on planting one of these giants, it is best to allocate considerable space to facilitate its growth. However, small specimens are available for use in landscaping designs.

– Growth Requirements

The Douglas fir requires a place that receives plenty of sunlight. It can do well in partial shade, but full sun exposure is the best-case scenario for this plant. It prefers moist, acidic soil that will drain quickly. The tree requires consistent moisture and does not appreciate drought, so it is best to provide supplementary water in dry areas.

12. Spanish Fir

Abies pinsapo is a native fir in the southern regions of Spain. It is medium-sized compared to other fir trees that can easily reach 50 to 70 feet in height. The plant is common in gardens as decorations and an excellent option for afforestation. It has a beautiful pyramidical growth habit.

– Characteristics

This fir can grow as tall as 82 feet with horizontal branches and rigid, sharp needle-like leaves.

Resilient Mountain Conifer Spanish Fir

The tree produces long cylindrical pinecones, and its flowers frequently change colors. They start off as green, gradually turn purple, and finally become brown. It is a low-maintenance plant that does not require any special treatment.

– Growth Requirements

It is among the few plants that prefer shady areas to grow and can also do well in partial shade. The tree is adaptable and can grow in various soils but prefers alkaline, moist, and well-draining soil. The plant does not have high water requirements and is not vulnerable to pests and diseases.

13. Fraser Fir

Abies fraseri is hard to come by in the wild, but whenever you buy a Christmas tree, there is a high chance it was a Fraser. The different varieties of this fir make it an excellent option for gardens and landscape designs.

– Characteristics

There are a lot of different varieties for you to choose from, and all of them differ in size, color, and shape.

Festive Holiday Fraser Fir Tree

Thus, you can choose according to your preference and available space. It is a small-sized tree that will reach a height between 30-50 feet and a width of 25-30 feet.

– Growth Requirements

The Fraser fir is an easy-to-grow tree that needs little attention and care. It requires a considerable amount of sunlight, but it can adapt to partial shade. It prefers acidic, moist, and well-draining soil and consistent moisture to produce healthy foliage.

14. Sacred Fir

Abies religiosa is a unique fir tree with many distinguishing features that separate it from other firs. It rapidly grows to 130 feet and is native to the North and Central American regions.

– Characteristics

You can easily recognize the tree by its unique needle-like leaves attached to the stems through a basal-like structure, which looks like small suction cups.

Spiritual Evergreen Sacred Fir Tree

The cones also differ from other pinecones as they stand erect instead of hanging downward.

– Growth Requirements

The fir requires consistent moisture, mainly because it likes to grow in warm regions, and dry spells are a common theme. This requirement is even more important during the early years of its life. The tree likes to grow under the full sun but can also do well in partially shady conditions. If your soil is rich, it will not require extra fertilizers or any organic matter.

15. Siberian Fir

Abies sibirica gets its common name for its love for cold environments. These evergreen trees are native to the northern areas of Siberia, Turkestan, and Mongolia. They live in freezing temperatures and moist soils in mountainous regions.

– Characteristics

These conifers grow to about 100 feet but do not usually live for more than 200 years. This is because they eventually die of the rot that decays them from within.

Cold Weather Conifer Siberian Fir

These trees produce essential oils that are used in perfumes and wood that is used in a lot of woodwork.

– Growth Requirements

The fir loves sunlight even though it tolerates many different light conditions. It requires regular watering and moist soils. In summer, you may need to provide supplementary watering to meet its requirements. The tree is a low-maintenance plant that requires no special fertilizer or pruning to keep it healthy.


In this list, we have gone over a few fir trees of various sizes and characteristics. The following are the main points to consider when choosing a fir tree for your garden:

  • They come in all sizes, so consider the available space before choosing a variety.
  • The majority of them are large evergreen plants that will live for decades.
  • Some of these, such as the West Himalayan fir, grow at altitudes of over 6000 feet.
  • Some, like the Fraser fir, balsam fir, and grand fir, are quite popular as Christmas trees.
  • They do not grow very fast and will need your patience to reach their full size. Some of these, such as the grand fir and noble fir, can grow more than 200 feet.

Which one of these majestic trees will you plant in your garden? Use this list for fir tree identification and choose the ones that suit your garden best.

5/5 - (22 votes)
Evergreen Seeds