Caucasian silver fir

Abies nordmanniana

Native range

Native to the Caucasus mountains and areas of north-eastern Turkey.

Provenance choice

No provenance testing other than for suitability for Christmas trees; there are few forest plots in Britain so seed should be sourced from the natural range.

Site requirements

Although large trees can be found in eastern Britain, it is probably best suited to areas of >900 mm rainfall in western Britain. It is cold hardy throughout Britain. Does not tolerate exposure so best suited to freely draining soils on valley sides. Best suited to medium to rich soils of fresh or moist soil moisture. It does not tolerate peats or nutritionally very poor soils, but it is reported to make reasonable growth on alkaline soils.

Pests and pathogens

Can suffer from aphid infestations by Dreyfusi (Adelges) nusslini, which causes shoot distortion, and balsam wooly aphid, which can cause dieback with severe infestations. Heterobasidion (Fomes root rot) caused by H. abietinum and H. annosusm has been recorded on this species in some European countries.

Use

Seems unlikely to outperform other silver firs (e.g. A. grandis, A. amabilis) on suitable sites, so will probably only have a minor role in British forests, at least until there is more information on its potential.