Abies concolor 'Mike Stern' / Mike Stern white fir

Abies concolor 'Mike Stern' is one of the smallest, tightest, slowest growing selections of white fir known in the nursery trade. The plant's overall structure is cushion-shaped, with dense branching adorned with gray-green needles that are slightly shorter than those typically seen in this species. After 10 years of growth, a mature specimen will measure at most 12 inches (30 cm) wide and 8 inches (20 cm) tall, a yearly growth rate of 1 inch (2.5 cm) per year.

This cultivar originated as a witch's broom found in the late 1990s by Joe Stupka near his home in Pulaski, Pennsylvania. For some reason grafted plants grow much slower and mature to a much smaller size than the origin broom. The broom was about 9 feet (3 m) in diameter 20 feet (6 m) high on the west side of the host tree. The broom was named for home owner where it was found.

Abies concolor 'Mike Stern' — a nearly perfect mature specimen in Wiel Linssen's garden, Baexem, The Netherlands.
Photo by Sam Pratt
Abies concolor 'Mike Stern' at the garden of Dennis Dodge, Bethlehem, Connecticut.
Photo by Bill Barger
Abies concolor 'Mike Stern' — a closeup of foliage detail in early spring.
Photo by Bill Barger