Large in size but not as towering as many other firs grown, needle fir has rich green foliage that thickly whorls around its twigs. Becoming a tall, pyramid-like tree with spreading branches, it is native to Manchuria and Korea and extreme southeastern Siberia's (Russia). Its youngest twigs are yellow-gray in color while its smooth bark is a purplish gray to dark sandy brown that will crack into plates once the tree is very old.
The glossy medium to dark green needles are not prickly to the touch and ascend on the twigs. They are flattened and usually arranged in two horizontal rows. The male and female cones appear in mid- to late spring; female cones receive the pollen via the wind and will turn yellowish brown when ripe.
Grow needle fir in full to partial sun in a moist, cool soil that is acidic in pH. It is, however, adaptable to non-alkaline soil that is slightly dry or nutrient poor as well. Use it as a large specimen park tree that can double as a shade tree because of its spreading branches. (info source: Learn2Grow.com)
Genus - Abies
Species - Holophylla
Common name - Manchurian Fir
Pre-Treatment - Required
Hardiness zones - 5 - 7
Height - 70'-100' / 21m - 31m
Spread - 20'-30' / 6m - 9m
Plant type - Tree
Vegetation type - Evergreen
Exposure - Full Sun, Partial Sun
Growth rate - Medium
Soil PH - Acidic, Neutral
Soil type - Clay, Loam, Well Drained
Water requirements - Drought tolerant, average water
Landscape uses - Feature Plant, Shade Trees
Germination rate - 65%
Leaf / Flower color - Light Green / --
Abies seeds need to be "overwintered" or stratified before they will germinate.
1. Soak overnight in warm water.
2. Then pre-chill (stratify) for 30 days. Seeds can be stratified in dampened peat, sand or moist vermiculite , in a plastic box or bag at 4°C or 5°C in a refrigerator. The seeds should not be frozen or in a wet medium.
Seed can be sown in early February in a greenhouse or outdoors in March. Normally will only germinate with light, but the stratification (described above) can help to increase the germination rate.
Sow Abies seeds 2-4 mm deep in the seed sowing mix.
Abies seeds will usually germinate in 21-40 days if overwintered and stratified or about 6 - 8 weeks if sown directly.
Soak seeds in cool water for two periods of 10 hours, but with a night break between them. Then after the second period, let the seeds drying out for a few hours. Next, put seeds into closed plastic bags but with little holes on the upper bag to allow gas exchanges. Place these bags in cold room/lower part of a refrigerator at +2° to +4°C. Check it out and stir it every 2 to 3 days to avoid mould development and watch also for the first appearing radicules. It usually takes 3 to 5 weeks to get about 10% of radicules to appear and then it's time for sowing.