Noble fir, Abies procera, Nobilis fir - care instructions

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Noble fir - Abies alba

The Nobilis fir is the noble number 2 among the 23 million trees that were raised and felled for only one year of "German Christmas". But you can also put the beautiful noble fir in your garden and decorate every year as a Christmas tree - a 50 times more environmentally friendly option, if you use the Nobilis fir the next half century as a Christmas tree... the noble fir in the garden has the rest of the year to offer some surprise, and the culture will not cause you any problems with the following care instructions:


  • The Nobilis fir is also known as the Pacific noble fir
  • It is the "real" noble fir, but be careful when shopping: Also the native white fir is colloquially called noble fir
  • The Nobilis fir is from the USA, where it grows in the coastal regions of the Pacific
  • The botanical name is Abies procera, sometimes the old name "Abies nobilis" is used
  • Classification: Genus firs (Abies), family Pinaceae, order Conifers (Coniferales)
  • Growth character: straight upright, but uneven, conical silhouette
  • Needles: Soft and rounded (not pincing) Needles; green color with blue-green shimmer
  • Location claims: Good soil, partial shade to sun, does not tolerate waterlogging

Location, soil, habit

The Nobilis fir is native to the Pacific Northwest of the USA, where it grows in and along coastal mountains / cascade chain at altitudes between about 700 and 2000 meters. Mostly in mixed forests with Douglas firs, purple firs and hemlocks, sometimes as pure, in good humid soil, surrounded by not particularly polluted and rather humid air.
She also wants to get a location as similar as possible in the garden, whereby initially the later space requirement determines the choice of location:
Free-growing Nobilis firs reach the highest growth heights of all firs, over 80 meters are not uncommon. The trunk diameter in the age exceeds 2 meters, in the width the fir can take up to 10 meters. The Abies procera also reaches the highest age of all fir species, it can last a proud 800 years.
It is assumed that you will be sold to the garden a cultivar that will not (and not even at some point) in the foreseeable future 5 - 10 times as high as your house. But the Nobilis fir from the German nursery is also up to 30 m high, the maximum growth width should be at 7 m; The noble fir so clearly dominates the age of normal single-family homes and may take about 50 square meters garden area. However, if you plant a normal young fir of a maximum of 30 cm, at a growth rate of 5 - 10 cm per year alone takes one to two decades, until it reaches you to the waist; potential problems of excessive height and breadth are given to generations born in the distant future.
Young trees grow shaded and sheltered in nature and should also have a partially shaded location in the garden that is not exposed to violent winds. When fully grown, Abies procera should tolerate full sun. If there is a tree in your backyard that you can foresee to start quarrying in the next few years, a location would be technically ideal in its protection of the small fir tree. The location should otherwise be rather cool than too chubby, humidity-enhancing waters may like to be nearby.

Noble fir - Abies alba

In terms of the soil, the Nobilis fir does not actually demand too much, but it should be a real garden soil with humus and soil life. On sandy areas with nourishing chemistry, the Nobilis fir is not necessarily happy, especially if these decades was applied without feeling to analysis and calculation and therefore more stressful than nourishing plants.
The soil may be slightly more acidic, the noble fir only tolerates lime in the soil and moderately avoids it at natural sites. In addition, the soil may be sandy and gritty to loamy, so rather nutrient-poor, if it is permeable enough to prevent stagnant wetness and the fir finds a little humus. The root develops first flat (and windbreak-endangered) and then forms a heart-root system, exceptionally deep, the ground for it does not have to be.
In its growth form shows the Nobilis firs a lot of character: the trunk straight up in the crown straight, the main branches horizontally outgoing bent to slightly upward, but above all irregularly arranged and irregular, strong, short branches forming. This brings life to the entire cone-shaped to pyramid-shaped structure, the Nobilis fir is "a bit more natural" than a super neat floor for floor-setting Nordmann fir.

The blossom

and other talents that could be the key to choosing this particular species of fir:
  • Fir trees bloom with coneflower flowers, male flowers are reddish, female small, yellowish to light red
  • Usually rather inconspicuous or rarely in the garden (white firs bloom from the age of 30)
  • In Abies procera different: cultivars bloom from the 7th year, in the garden so soon after planting
  • And the flowering that occurs in mid-April to early May is really striking:
  • The cones that emerge from the flowers become up to 25 cm long and up to 8 cm thick, the largest cones of all firs
  • You also look pretty fancy:
  • Another special feature of the noble fir are the resin pockets (small bumps) on the trunk
  • These are all small Christmas scented canned foods that cause an intense smell
  • After Christmas tree it should then smell: fir green, but also orange and a little gingerbread
Tip: If you like to make floristic artwork, the material provided by the Nobilis fir alone would be a sufficient reason to plant it in the garden. The fir green is more durable than most other firs, cones and fruit cones are highly decorative and so unique that it will attract your friends.

Plant Nobilis fir

The Nobilis fir can be planted in spring or autumn. When it starts to grow in the spring, the roots do the rooting effortlessly; After the autumn planting closes the hibernation, in which the fir can concentrate entirely on the roots of the new location. We do not prefer either time, the Nobilis fir is completely uncritical hardy with us and therefore needs no lead time before winter.

Noble fir - Abies alba

Dig a generous planting pit into which even the finest fine root can be embedded without tipping, set the fir and pour it well. Whether a pouring edge should be piled up around the planting hole, so that rain and possibly irrigation water to the roots, depends on the location: At a location for the noble fir a little too dry location in any case, in a rather too humid location it would be quite in contrast, it is more appropriate to create a slight downward slope towards the environment, so that too much water runs off.
If during the growing period of the noble fir long very dry weather prevails, they should additionally irrigate the fir, so that the rooting is not disturbed.

Maintenance work (in the growth phase)

In the first 4 to 5 years, the Nobilis fir grows rather slowly, which makes the maintenance work well manageable:
The root space should not be completely overgrown with weeds, it "eats and drinks" and takes light and oxygen from the young fir.
In a location with normally nutrient-rich soil, however, Nobilis firs need not be fertilized additionally. In symbiosis with mycorrhizal fungi, they develop such a far-reaching root system that they can manage the soil nutrients in the environment.
Against the application of a little mature compost, stable manure, organic fertilizer in spring, the Nobilis fir sure nothing; otherwise you only have to take action when a poor supply situation in the misting / dryness of the needles becomes noticeable.
Then, however, a possible fertilizer requirement should really be determined by soil analysis: Because conifers in German garden soils rarely suffer from a general nutrient deficiency, it could be a nutrient imbalance. The main nutrients nitrogen, phosphate, potassium, calcium and magnesium may be in the wrong proportions, possibly lacking one or more of the most important trace elements (sulfur, iron, boron and manganese), but maybe the "slightly acidic soil" is actually too much too acidic and needs to be caked (the pH for firs should be between 5 and 6). Since false coloration of the needles can also come from sunburn, frost, lack of light or dryness, maybe nothing is missing, so a useful fertilization concept can only be created after soil analysis.
In the sprouting phase, the precious fir consumes mainly of stored nutrients, fertilized then so at the beginning of May and possibly again in early July.
In the spring and early summer, you should check the young plant once for pest infestation (and possibly dam it), then you have done everything to get the Nobilis fir good over the rounds.
Basically, this inexpensive care concept also applies to an adult Nobilis fir, except that it takes less and less attention until old age; You will not experience the high-maintenance, old age in a tree with a life expectancy of up to 800 years.
In terms of hibernation, the Nobilis fir is unproblematic: it is very frost hardy, due to the late onset budding, it comes in normal weather never late frost damage.

To cut

Noble fir - Abies alba

If you plant the noble fir immediately after the wedding and / or the construction of the home at a young age (applies to you, especially the initially very slow-growing fir may already have a few years "under your belt"), you can foresee that you are dealing with the tree for a few decades.If, in this case, you can see that the Nobilis fir is about to visually swallow the house when you enter the midlife crisis, you can now (or soon, depending on the age of the noble fir when planting) make sure that the fir will never "grow" from your house:
  • Firs (and many other conifers) form a centered tip when growing
  • This so-called terminal drive is genetically programmed for growth
  • Trees grow overall, especially in the upper area, to the side and to the top
  • This growth can be regulated, which happens especially in the Christmas tree production
  • Thus, the peak growth is inhibited by the juice flow of the terminal drive is interrupted to a calculated extent
  • Professionals achieve this by treating the terminal drive with a so-called "top-stop pliers"
  • Much for the unique treatment of a fir, would be useful here rather a loaner
  • The alternative would be the multiple incision of the leader with a sharp knife
  • Too many / too deep cuts interrupt the sap flow completely, the terminal drive dies
  • The tree also, if even more branches in the top area (eg by game bite) are repeatedly damaged
  • If he survives, he grows strong bushy and develops several tops of side shoots, which take over the function of the terminal drive
  • The side shoots also have their own genetic program: Every year a new shoot appears on the outside
  • They are regulated by shortening the outermost shoots (manual kinking) in the growth
  • The fir is cut so much like a fruit tree all around
  • This so-called shape cut inhibits the lateral growth of the tree and thus leads to a narrower tree
  • Again, you must proceed with a great deal of caution
  • Trim should always be done on fresh green
  • In terms of trimming the old wood, most conifers are very delicate
  • If you cut too deep, it can happen even with the noble fir, that it no longer expels from the old wood
  • Terminal shortening and cutting work are scheduled from the 6th year
Tip: Just as there are two noble firs, the white fir and the nobilis fir, there are also two blue firs: the blue varieties of the pierce spruce, Picea pungens, are colloquially called blue fir, irrespective of the botanical affiliation, and often in parks planted blue noble fir Abies procera 'Glauca' is also known as blue fir.

Types and varieties

Nobilis fir is Nobilis fir, from the original form of the noble fir there are no special cultivars. Only a few dwarf varieties, Blue Witch, Glauca, Glauca Prostrata, Noble's Dwarf, Procumbens, and Wiesmoornixe. Often with blue needles, partly with "creatively crooked" leading lug, partly with creeping lobes on the ground and / or shortened stubble shoots.

Noble fir - Abies alba

These cultivars are not real Nobilis firs, but selected bizarre growth dwarf shrubs, the z. B. be planted as original points of view in rockeries. If you just want to plant a beautiful, normal fir tree, take care when shopping: The popular in public parks dwarf varieties are lately increasingly sold to private gardeners, but remain quite small (final height usually around 8 meters, after a very long time) and their irregular, stocky growth does not remotely match the noble original form of the Nobilis fir.

Video Board: What Is A Noble Fir Tree?.

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