Abies concolor 'By Road' / By Road White fir

Abies concolor 'By Road' is arguably one of the most grotesque, monstrous selections of any fir ever found up to this point. Its growth habit generally fastigiate and sparse. Buds when they decide to extend may grow only a few to several inches a year. Occasionally, an established terminal leader will die off for some reason only to be replaced by another over time. 'By Road' will probably never be common in conifer collections due to difficulty in obtaining good propagation material and the plant itself being too objectionable to gardeners accustomed to tidy, uniform specimens their landscapes.

This cultivar was propagated from cuttings taken from a mutated tree found in the wild by Dave Horst of Clinton Iowa, while hunting in Wyoming. Pictured in the gallery is the mother plant in Randy Dykstra's garden in Fulton, Illinois. Recent photos taken around 2010 of the mother plant show it to be around 3 feet (1 m) tall. I great deal of confusion exists pertaining to the plant name and who found it. It is often attributed to Jerry Morris and is seen under the cultivar names, 'Upper Road' and 'Wyoming South #2.' It is the sister plant to Abies concolor ‘Lower Road’ having been found growing in close proximity to each other.

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Abies concolor 'By Road' — a closeup of foliage detail.
Photo by Bill Barger
Abies concolor 'By Road' — the mother plant in Fulton, Illinois.
Photo by Bill Barger

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