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Scientific Name: Typical Variety - Abies lasiocarpa var. lasiocarpa; Corkbark Variety - Abies lasiocarpa var. arizonica
Other Common Names: Typical Variety - balsam, white balsam, alpine fir, western balsam fir, balsam fir, Rocky Mountain fir, white fir, and pino real blanco de las sierras; Corkbark Variety - corkbark fir, alamo de la sierra
Foliage: Needled Evergreen
Height: 20-100 feet
Spread: 20-25 feet
Shape: Narrow pyramidal
Growth Characteristics: Slow-growing
True to its name, the subalpine fir naturally occurs just below the timberline in mountain forests of the west and southwest of North America. It is often described as having a "spire-like" crown which is tall and very slender. Rarely used as an ornamental, it can make a good Christmas tree.
Care should be fairly straight-forward provided it is planted on an appropriate site. The subalpine fir performs best in the North or at higher elevations, so when you are planting it in a more southerly location, a north-facing slope is preferable.
In warm, humid climates, can suffer from root rot. Susceptible to sun scald in warm climates and is not tolerant of drought or pollution.