Abies fraseri is a species of fir tree with various common names such as Fraser fir, Frazier fir and Southern Balsam fir. It is native to the Appalachian Mountains in the eastern United States and its distribution in the wild is limited to this area. Tree farmers commercially cultivate Frazier fir for Christmas trees and gardeners also grow individual trees for their ornamental value. Frazier fir seeds require a period of cold temperature known as a cold stratification period in order to germinate.
Collect Frazier fir seeds from the ground when they ripen in autumn. Fill a seed tray with potting soil and sow the seeds onto the soil. Place the seed tray in a cold frame until early February, then place them in a greenhouse.
Water the soil in the seed tray to keep the soil moist but not wet. Remove the seedlings from the seed tray when they are large enough to handle, usually by late March. Move the seedlings to individual pots and keep them in the greenhouse. Water the seedlings to keep the soil moist.
Select an outside planting site for Frazier fir. This tree prefers full sun, although it can tolerate partial shade when young. Frazier fir also grows well in heavy clay. Add peat moss to the soil if necessary to lower the soil pH to between 5 and 6.
Move the Frazier fir sapling to its permanent location in late spring of the second year of growth. Dig a hole twice the size of the tree's root ball with a shovel. Place the root ball of the tree in the hole so the soil is at the same level as it was in the planting pot. Fill the hole with native soil and water the tree thoroughly.
Water the tree with 1 to 2 inches of water per week during the next two growing seasons. The Frazier fir tree should establish its root system during this period and require little care from that point.
Things You Will Need
- Seed tray
- Potting soil
- Cold frame
- Peat moss