Monochrome fir (Ábies cóncolor) is used everywhere in landscape design. This plant is especially appreciated for its high resistance to adverse conditions, durability and not too fast growth. There are many varieties of plain fir, which vary in size and appearance of needles, branches and trunk.
In addition to high decorative qualities, fir is used in the production of building wood, as well as for balsams, resins and oils (regular and essential), as well as vitamin feed for animals.
Under natural conditions, one-color, or one-flower, fir grows up to 60 m in height. Its distinguishing feature is the needles painted on the top and bottom in the same color. Actually, that is why the name was given such a name. This plant is considered one of the most photophilous species of its kind. A characteristic property of it is increased resistance to adverse growing conditions. Single-flowered fir can easily withstand frosts and successfully develops on sandy soils.
The crown of one-color fir is conical, smooth and dense. The branches are mostly horizontal, evenly covered with needles of the spirit types: spiky on reproductive shoots and rounded on vegetative ones. In many representatives of the species, needles are located on branches spirally. One-color fir differs from its relatives in smell: its needles smell like lemon.
Cones on a one-color fir appear in the 60-65 year of the life of a tree, in some varieties, especially dwarf ones, a little earlier. The form of fruit formations is ovoid or cylindrical, male are located at the ends of last year's shoots and are painted in dull colors. Female cones of violet-red color are located in the upper segment of the crown at the ends of last year's growth. They disintegrate in the first year, and the rods stay on branches for a long time.
The root system of monochromatic fir lies very deep in the ground. Due to this feature, the trees withstand high wind loads and can survive prolonged drought.
Fir: a variety of varieties
Popular varieties of monochromatic fir
For the design of landscapes, firs of various varieties are used. Dwarf and tall, they differ in the shape of the crowns and the color of the needles. The following varieties of fir are considered the most popular.
|Grade name||Description||Soil and light requirements|
|Violacea||Slow-growing variety with soft needles of bluish-blue color. The length of the needles reaches 6 mm. Cones are large, up to 10 cm long. The maximum height is 9-11 m. The diameter of the crown is from 2 to 6 m.||He loves the sun, but tolerates light shading. It grows well on loam and sandy loam without stagnation of water.|
|Compacta||A dwarf variety with an uneven but compact crown. The needles are silver-blue, hard, sickle-shaped, up to 2 cm long. The maximum crown height is 80 cm.||Winter hardiness is high, prefers bright places, but requires shading in too intense light due to the high probability of burns. It does not tolerate high density soils and waterlogging.|
|Aurea||A fast-growing variety with silver-white needles (pale yellow in young plants). The crown is conical, very dense.||He likes well-lit places with little shading, grows best on loam. It tolerates cold, but at a young age it can freeze and partially lose needles.|
|Wintergold||The fastest growing variety, whose height can reach 15-18 meters. The crown is symmetrical, regular conical shape. The needles are dense and very long (up to 6 cm), saturated green.||It feels good in bright places with humus-rich loamy soil. It does not tolerate waterlogging and stagnation of water at the roots.|
|Conica||Compact dwarf plant with a crown in the shape of a narrow cone. The branches are horizontal, densely covered with green needles, the length of which does not exceed 4 cm.||Grows in partial shade and in the sun. Requires planting on fertile, well-drained loam or sandy loam.|
|Extra||Large-sized conifer with a narrow-pyramidal crown. The needles are long, reaching 9 cm, in young plants light cream, in adults - bright blue. The maximum height of the tree is 15 m, the diameter of the crown is 4-5 m.||Plant a plant in a well-lit place. The soil is preferably loamy or sandy loam with a large supply of nutrients. It does not tolerate waterlogging and stagnation of water.|
Planting and caring for solid fir
Solid firs are good for lighting, however, many varieties withstand light shading. After choosing the most suitable place, it is important to prepare a deep landing pit, as the roots of the plant are very long. Drainage can be laid in a pit up to 20 cm thick, on which a nutrient mixture of clay, humus, peat, sand with the addition of sawdust and nitroammophoska should be placed. When planting, it is important not to deepen the root neck of the seedling. It should be flush with the soil.
Watering a one-color fir is required only the first time after planting, as well as in dry years, when there is no rainfall for two weeks or longer. It is also recommended to moisten the crown of plants no more than once every two weeks. Young seedlings require a lot of moisture, therefore, under each tree in a dry period you need to pour at least 10 liters of water once a week.
You can feed decorative varieties of one-color fir three years after planting. It is better to combine this procedure with weeding and loosening the trunk circle to a depth of about 20 cm. For digging, it is recommended to make fertilizer for conifers or a universal mixture. After that, you can mulch the soil under the plants with peat compost or wood chips.
Monochrome firs do not need forming pruning. In the spring, before the roots of the trees are awakened, you can trim the shrunken (browned) branches. They do not require shelter for the winter. Even young representatives of monochromatic firs can withstand winters in the middle lane.
You may also be interested in an article in which we talk about varietal features and rules of agricultural technology of Korean fir.
Large representatives of the species of monochrome firs are ideal for designing alleys and in single landings on the lawn. They are suitable for decorating the main entrances and walking areas. Due to the high gas resistance, firs of this species grow well in squares, gardens and in urban areas. Large landscape compositions with massive stones and sculptures are ideal for their use.
Dwarf varieties of solid fir are suitable for decoration of heather and oriental gardens, alpine hills and small landscape compositions. They blend beautifully with many flowering plants. They are irreplaceable both at arrangement of stony gardens, and as a frame in the walking zone of the garden.
How to plant and care for fir
Due to its endurance and undemanding to temperatures and the sun, solid firs have become idols of many landscape designers. Given that this species has a huge varietal variety, which allows you to choose a tree for your garden in height, crown shape and color of needles, there is practically no equal to one-color fir. Ephedra belonging to monochromatic firs look beautiful all year round.