Abies concolor 'Lower Road' / Lower Road white fir

Abies concolor 'Lower Road' is an irregular upright selection of white fir with long, very thin, wispy needles with bands of stomata on the abaxial side, suggesting that this may, in fact, by a hybrid of A. concolor and lasiocarpa. Growth is extremely irregular as some buds simply fail to push from year to year, creating a dense plant with very random growth patterns. Nonetheless it is among the more interesting cultivars of this genus.

Typical rate of growth for shoots that actually elect to push is 1 to 2 inches (2.5 - 5 cm) per year. The 10-year dimensions of a mature plant will be anywhere from 18 to 24 inches (45 - 60 cm) tall and rather narrow.

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 of the mother plant around 2010 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, ‘Lower Shaded’ and ‘Wyoming South #6.’ It is the sister plant to Abies concolor 'By Road' having been found growing in close proximity to each other.

Abies concolor 'Lower Road' — the original plant in a private garden in Fulton, Illinois.
Photo by Dax Herbst
Abies concolor 'Lower Road' — a closeup of foliage detail.
Photo by Bill Barger
Abies concolor 'Lower Road' — a young plant.
Photo by Bill Barger