Fraser fir
Abies fraseri

Fraser fir is the only fir endemic to the southern Appalachian mountains. It is primarily known for its use as a fragrant and shapely Christmas tree. Fraser fir is very similar to its northern counterpart, balsam fir.

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Light Water
Growth   Size

Timber Value

      Fraser fir is used for Christmas trees and wreaths.


Wildlife Value
      Red squirrels, a.k.a. moutain boomers, eat seeds and terminal buds of fraser firs.
          Attracts: red squirrels

Regeneration methods
      Because Fraser fir is shade tolerant, shelterwood and group selection methods work best. Some christmas tree growers harvest Fraser firs and leave one whorl of growth below the cut. This method is said to be sufficient for a normally growing, upright tree to reform.

Important Problems Early Detection tips
balsam woolly adelgid stem and tip dieback

Fun facts
Fraser fir is commonly grown for Christmas trees, and foliage is often used for decoration. Growing Fraser fir for Christmas trees and wreaths is a multi-million dollar business in the southern Appalachians. The non-native insect pest balsam wooly adelgid has caused serious damage and mortality in native stands.
Abies: ancient name - rising or tall tree, name for the European fir / fraseri: after John Fraser
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2004 Virginia Tech Forestry Department, all rights reserved. Text, images, and programming by: Dr. Jeff Kirwan, Dr. John R. Seiler, John A. Peterson, Edward C. Jensen, Guy Phillips, or Andrew S. Meeks.

questions, comments, and criticisms: email John.Peterson@vt.edu