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Abies Magnifica "Silver Tip" (2 Replies)

Posted June 6, 2018 at 11:09 am

Group,

Has anyone ever attempted to grow Abies Magnifica “Silver Tip” outside of its native range? Does anybody know of a nursery that might sell seedlings?

Here is a link to a silver tip farm, but they are Christmas trees, not live seedlings from what I can decipher.

https://silvertiptreefarm.com/store/silvertip-trees

Regards,
Fred M. Cain,
Topeka, IN

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Posted June 6, 2018 at 2:57 pm

Can you grow Abies procera? … magnifica is just a little fussier. I have found that with these west-coast mountain firs, low humidity and cool nights (<50ºF) are absolutely critical.

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Posted June 7, 2018 at 7:43 am

Dear “Conifer Editor”,

I think it’s most interesting that you would mention Abies Procera. I actually ordered four of those back in March from the Joe Welker Nursery in California. They were shipped to me in gallon cans. They were slow to bud out but they look pretty good now so I’m optimistic about those.

Welker also sent me four Abies Magnifica seedlings in plugs. Two have died and the other two look pretty sick. We got hit hard with an unusual early season heat wave during the last week of May that I’m afraid did them in. They really didn’t have a chance to take hold before the heat hit. The heat did not seem to impact the Procera which supports what you said.

But here’s a really weird story: Last year I ordered some Abies Magnifica SEEDS from Amazon dot com. I later found out that fir seeds (along with many conifers) have to first be “freeze activated”. I did not know this and didn’t do it but one seed germinated anyway. I had it inside in an outbuilding over the winter and planted it outside in March. Believe it or not, it is growing and looks pretty good! It actually looks a lot better than the seedlings I got from Welker! But it is so tiny that it’s obviously very vulnerable. I intend to keep babying it and we’ll see what happens.

You mentioned cool nights for firs. I believe you are right about this. I don’t know how familiar you are with the Midwest but during what we call the “dog days” of summer, (basically early July to mid-August) we tend to have very warm, humid nights. Very miserable “sleeping weather” if you don’t have air conditioning.(I don’t).

One final note that’s a bit off topic. I have a bunch of eastern white pines trees in a wind break that I planted back around 1991-2.This year I’ve seen something that I never saw before. The ground in the wind break has oodles (probably hundreds) of tiny, volunteer white pine seedlings. It will be most interesting to see what happens to them. If they start to grow I might transplant some of them next spring to more a favorable location.

Regards,
Fred M. Cain
Topeka, IN

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