Abies nordmanniana

Nordmann Fir, Caucasian Fir




  • native to Asia Minor, Caucasus
  • zone 5

Habit and Form

  • evergreen tree
  • narrow pyramidal shape with many dense branches
  • holds branches to the ground
  • 40' to 60' tall, can reach over 250' tall in wild
  • 15' to 20' wide
  • slow growing
  • fine texture

Summer Foliage

  • 1" to 1.5" long
  • entire margins
  • black green color
  • 2 whitish stomatal bands on underside
  • needle apex is notched or rounded
  • needles densely cover stem
  • upper needles shorter and pointed forward
  • buds are not resinous

Autumn Foliage

  • no fall color (evergreen)


  • no ornamental value
  • monoecious


  • reddish brown
  • 5 to 6" long
  • slightly tapered cylindrical shape
  • held upright mostly on upper branches
  • showy


  • smooth with resin blisters until very old
  • gray-brown color


  • full sun
  • prefers moist, well-drained, acidic soil
  • one of the easier Abies sp. to grow

Landscape Uses

  • large, open areas (parks, campuses)
  • specimen
  • screen
  • one of the most beautiful Abies sp.


  • woolly adelgids, twig aphids, bagworm, scales and spider mites can affect the tree, but damage is usually not substantial
  • hard to find
  • doesn't thrive under harsh landscape conditions
  • often damaged by deer

ID Features

  • needles have notched or rounded tip
  • smooth bark with resin blisters
  • very long cones, 6"
  • circular leaf scars
  • buds are conical and not resinous
  • black-green needle color


  • by seed


Various cultivars exist, but none are common in commerce and most are reserved for dwarf conifer collectors.

'Pendula' - Name applied to clones with branches that weep.

'Prostrata' - Forms with low, trailing habits.

Forms are known with yellow needles, including 'Golden Spreader', a prostrate selection.

Selected forms with bluer needles are occasionally seen.

© Copyright Mark H. Brand, 1997-2015.

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Citation and Acknowledgements: University of Connecticut Plant Database, http://hort.uconn.edu/plants, Mark H. Brand, Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture, Storrs, CT 06269-4067 USA.