Abies Balsama -- Cook Blue New Hampshire seed source. Hardy to -40 zone 3. This is a proven Christmas tree from the eastern US. This tree has a nice blue color as its name implies and the color seems to come out later in the trees life. Not all trees will get the blue color but the remainder have a deep green color. This variety has good bud development and fills out nice. It has nice heavy branches for ornaments with good needle retention.
Abies Balsama var. phanerolepis -- Bracted Balsam Fir Native to Nova Scotia coast.
Hardy to -30 zone 3 not as hardy as inland Nova Scotia balsam.
Tree has dark green needles with Fraser fir characteristics.
It has medium to fast growth rate and will tolerate heavier wetter soils.
This tree has a medium to late bud break.
Abies Koreana -- Korean Fir Native to South Korea. Hardy tree to - 30 Zone 3. Needles are dark green if fertilized well. The undersides of needles are white which makes this tree stand out. When the sun is right a field of them will "shine". This tree also has a good aromatic fragrance and holds its needles as well as a Fraser. Unlike the Fraser it will handle wetter conditions. I have trees in a silty loam soil that are doing excellent. Korean Fir prefer a lower PH down to 4.8. Lower PH will give this tree a better color. Only fertilize this tree early in the year as it will keep growing too late into the year and will put on excessive growth if fertilized during summer. One problem this tree has is a leader problem. Leaders should be sheared to above a large bud. Leaving the leader to be sheared the following spring seems to help this problem.
Abies Siberica -- Siberian Fir Native to Russia and Eastern China. Very hardy to - 40 Zone 2. Needles are light green and soft up to 1 1/2" long. The Siberian fir has a good aromatic fragrance and holds its needles very well. Can handle heavier soils and is very drought tolerant. It does break bud a little earlier than some firs so it is best not to plant in low areas. Slow growth to start out but will put on over a foot of growth once established. Due to where it is native to it has a short growing period so fertilizer must be applied early for tree to get good growth. This tree has good potential with growers getting premium prices for this tree.
Picea Meyeri -- Meyer Spruce Native to China. Very Hardy to -40 Zone 2. Needles are green to light blue and blunt unlike most spruce. Tree has great needle retention as good as Fraser firs. Can break bud early not good for frost pockets. Tree does well in a wide range of soils but prefers lighter soil similar to
Blue spruce. The Meyer spruce can be slow to start out but will put out over 12" per year once established.
Basal pruning bottom branches when young will help push growth to leader. Very little shearing required of this tree it has a dense growth habit.