Abies fraseri 'Reeseville' / Reeseville Fraser's fir
Abies fraseri 'Reeseville' is a narrow, upright selection of Fraser fir with fastigiate branching and species-typical blue foliage. After 10 years of growth, a mature specimen will measure 6 feet (2 m) tall and 1.5 feet (45 cm) wide, an annual growth rate of 6 to 8 inches.
This cultivar originated as a seedling selected in the early 1990s by John Van Ert of Reedsburg, Wisconsin at his namesake nursery. The seedling batch from which the selection came from Berkey's Nursery, Spartansburg, Pennsylvania.
How this plant gained the name 'Reesville' is a curious story. Shortly after John Van Ert selected this special narrow conifer, he asked a friend, Darrell Kromm, a fellow nurseryman at Reeseville Ridge Nursery, Reeseville, Wisconsin, if he knew of any arboretums what might be interested in receiving plants and preserving them in a significant collection. Darrell recommended Rich Larson and Dawes Arboretum, Newark, Ohio where at least one of the original plants still lives today. Somehow any mention of Van Ert Nursery became lost and the plant ended up named in honor of Reeseville Ridge Nursery, who, ironically never even propagated it.
The American Conifer Society confirmed that 'Reeseville' is the cultivar name originally given and other cultivar names seen in the nursery trade, such as 'Reeseville Selection' and 'Reeseville Ridge' are used in error.
Abies fraseri 'Reeseville' — what is likely one of the original propagation seen growing in Dawes Arboretum, Newark, Ohio.
Photo by Dawes Arboretum