Abies

Fir

Bonsai care and maintenance

Fir bonsai
Fir Bonsai by Walter Pall

General information about the Fir Bonsai tree

Firs are evergreen conifers with straight trunks, pyramidal or conical crown shapes and deep root systems. Some fir species can grow up to 70 m tall. The branches are rather short and horizontal or hanging. They grow in a whorled pattern on the trunk. The needles are dark green, flat and flexible and often have two whitish stomata stripes on their underside. In contrast to spruce needles, those of the fir have no sharp tips. The bark is grey and smooth on young trees and becomes rough and flaky with age. Fir cones grow standing upright in contrast to those of the similar looking spruce tree, whose cones hang down from the twigs. Firs are not very often styled as bonsai trees, but there are some fine specimen.

Among the most popular fir species are the Silver fir (Abies alba), Himalayan fir (Abies spectabilis), Caucasian fir (Abies nordmannia), Noble fir (Abies procera), Korean fir (Abies koreana) and Balsam fir (Abies balsamea). All fir species are frost-hardy, but when they are planted in bonsai containers they need protection from strong frost.

If you need help identifying your tree, take a look at our Bonsai tree identification guide.

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