It is a large evergreen tree typically up to 40-60 m tall and 2 m trunk diameter, rarely to 76 m tall and 3 m diameter, with a narrow conic crown. Hardy to zone 6. The bark on young trees is smooth, grey, and with resin blisters, becoming orange-red, rough and fissured on old trees. The leaves are needle-like, 2-3.5 cm long, glaucous blue-green above and below with strong stomatal bands, and an acute tip.
It is a high altitude tree, typically occurring at 1,400-2,700 m altitude, though only rarely reaching tree line. The name Red Fir derives from the bark color of old trees.
Genus - Abies
Species - Magnifica Shastensis
Common name - Californian Red Fir
Pre-Treatment - Required
Hardiness zones - 6 - 8
Height - 50m
Spread - 2m
Plant type - Large Tree
Vegetation type - Evergreen
Growth rate - Medium
Soil PH - Chalk or neutral
Soil type - Clay, Loam, Sand
Water requirements - Average Water
Landscape uses - Feature Plant, Screening / Wind Break
Germination rate - 75%
Leaf / Flower color - 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.