There is a big range of evergreen trees with blue foliage available, but no other one has the elegance and impact of the Blue Spanish Fir. With its dense, richly-blue foliage and graceful upright conical form, it is no wonder that this plant has won the prestigious Award of Garden Merit from the Royal Horticultural Society. If you crave the perfect evergreen to grace your lawn and look dramatic yet elegant all year round, then this is the tree for you.
The Blue Spanish Fir grows into a upright cone of bright silver-blue foliage, on a tree that will soon be 20 feet tall and could ultimately become a grand specimen up to 80 feet tall. The branches and foliage persist low down for decades, with a width of 15 feet that can ultimately become 25 feet across. You will need some space for this spectacular tree, but something so special is worth every inch. The strong central trunk carries whorls of horizontal branches, and the smaller branches eventually bend downwards a little, softening the profile and creating a charming effect. After a few years your tree will add to its beauty by producing clusters of cones of a spectacular raspberry-purple color when young, before maturing to dark purple upright cones up to six inches tall.
This tree is hardy to minus 10 degrees, and grows well in warm areas too, so it can be grown all across the country, except for the hottest and coldest areas. Once established it has good drought resistance, although it does best in soil that is not always dry, making it an excellent choice for any area with regular rainfall. It is generally free of pests and diseases and requires no special attention to become a gorgeous specimen. After a couple of years becoming established in your garden, it will grow 12 inches a year, so it will not be long before you have a beautiful tree of real stature in your garden.
Plant the Blue Spanish Fir as a striking specimen in a large lawn, or as a dramatic background plant behind smaller trees and flowering bushes. You will love its brilliant foliage color and dense growth. A row would make a spectacular screen against noise or an unsightly view.
The Spanish fir, Abies pinsapo, grows wild in southern Spain and northern Morocco. It is usually found in mountainous regions, so it is adapted to cooler areas than we might think, coming from hot countries. It will grow when winter temperatures fall as low as minus 10 degrees, so it is hardy across a wide part of the country. The blue foliaged form known as ‘Glauca’ was found in France among a batch of seedlings in 1867, at the Desfossé and Thuillier Nursery in the city of Orléans. Despite its long history, it is not seen often in America, and at the Tree Center we are proud to have the rare opportunity to offer something so special to our clients. Our specialist conifer growers have obtained material derived directly from that original parent tree. An ordinary ‘fir’ seedling, or even a seedling Spanish fir, will not resemble this tree in any significant way, so ignore offers of cheaper trees that will not be the true Blue Spanish Fir.
Choose a sunny location for your Blue Spanish Fir, and give it plenty of room to develop. It should be 10 feet or more from buildings or walls, and plant it well within your property line. Although it can be trimmed up with a trunk, one of the features of this tree is that the foliage is naturally retained almost to the ground even in mature trees, so if plant it in a location where they feature can be retained. This tree will grow well in most soils, but prefers moist, well-drained and slightly acidic soils to grow to its ultimate potential. However, it is a vigorous and tough tree that will grow well and form a grand specimen almost anywhere. It is free of significant pests or diseases and requires no special care or trimming to maintain its dense growth and elegant form. When young, watch that a second upright central trunk does not develop, and remove the weaker one if you should see two leading shoots in the center of your tree.
Although it has a long history, and is an easily grown and spectacularly beautiful tree, the Blue Spanish Fir is rarely available in American nurseries or garden centers. So here at the Tree Center we are proud to have located a limited number of beautiful young trees at a specialist nursery. We know you will love this tree, and we also know that many discerning gardeners will rush to have one, so order yours now, as our stocks will not last long.