How to Grow: White Fir

Walter Siegmund


Other Name

Concolor fir


Sun Requirements

Full sun, part sun


Bloom Period and Seasonal Color

Grown for its attractive size and rich blue-green needles


Mature Height x Spread

40 to 70 feet x 20 to 30 feet with some dwarf versions


Added Benefits

Drought tolerant


If you’re looking for an easy to grow evergreen tree in your landscape that has attractive coloring and long lived, consider the white fir. Of all the fir trees that you could grow, the white fir is most tolerant of less than ideal soils and conditions and the easiest to grow in your landscape. White fir grows in the classic, Christmas-tree pyramidal shape. The short needles have a blue cast to them giving the tree an attractive appearance. Cones are eventually produced on older trees, but it may be many years before you’ll see any. Although this evergreen grows large, there are some compact and weeping forms that may fit well in smaller landscapes.


When, Where and How to Plant

White fir is hardy throughout New England. Grow white fir trees purchased from a local nursery and plant from spring to summer on well-drained, moist soil in a full sun location. White fir is less fussy about moist soils than other evergreens. Space trees 20 to 30 feet apart, closer for dwarf selections.


Growing Tips

Keep young trees well watered. Mulch young trees with pine needles, creating a mulch ring around the tree to maintain soil moisture levels. Once established, older white fir trees are drought tolerant. Fertilize young trees with an evergreen tree plan food. Older trees generally don’t need additional fertilization.


Regional Advice and Care

White fir trees generally don’t need pruning. They can be sheared to increase the pyramidal shape, especially if you’re intending on growing these as Christmas trees. Shear trees in spring and early summer to shape and remove errant branches.  Protect young trees from deer with fencing and repellent sprays. White fir can be attacked by a wide variety of insects and diseases, though rarely severely.


Companion Planting and Design

Grow white fir along a property boundary; edge of the forest or in an open meadow. Grow white fir also with other large evergreens, such as hemlock and cedar, to create an informal hedge to block a view. Be aware, though slow growing, white firs can eventually grow large and block a vista that you treasure. Pruning older trees can deform them.


Try These

‘Candicans’ has intense silver-blue needles and perhaps the bluest needle color. ‘Compacta’ is a dwarf white fir that only grows 8 feet tall at maturity. This is a good selection for small yards and for under power lines. ‘Gable’s Weeping’ is an unusual introduction with cascading branches. It only grows 6 feet tall in 10 years. ‘Wintergold’ is a dwarf, only growing 5 feet tall and wide. In spring its needles are chartreuse. They change to light green in summer and then to a buttery-gold in winter.

Excerpted from my book, New England Getting Started Garden Guide.

Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Post Type Selectors