12 Species of Fir Trees

balsamfir

 

Some of the most popular choices for Christmas trees belong to the fir genus (Abies). The most common fir trees used are the balsam fir, Fraser fir, noble fir and Nordmann fir. These evergreens can be identified by the place where the needle attaches to the branch, which looks like a suction cup. The soft needles are attached to what looks like a suction cup on the branch. Unlike the pulvini of the spruce trees, they detach cleanly from the branch without leaving a peg behind. The needles also aren’t formed into fascicles like the pine trees. The fir tree cones are softer than other coniferous trees and come apart at the end of the season to spread their seeds. They also grow upwards instead of hanging down. As happens with common names sometimes, the name Douglas fir is a misnomer. The genus for that tree is Pseudotsuga, which translates out to fake (Pseudo) hemlock (Tsuga), meaning that this tree is not a true fir.

Source: About.com

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