Planting time for a Nordman fir

Updated February 21, 2017

Nordman fir (Abies nordmannia) is an extremely tall variety of fir tree, reaching 60 metres under the right conditions in the wild, with a spread that shades the surrounding areas of 4.5 metres to 6 metres. In home landscaping, the tree still grows to 18 metres and requires plenty of permanent space. The evergreen tree sports deep green needles year-round and proves valuable in gardens as a landscaping and shade tree.

Choose a site where your Nordman fir will receive full sun or partial shade and good drainage. Make sure that your site has room for the tree's upward and outward growth, so you don't have to transplant in the future. Plan to plant your Nordman fir in spring, so the tree has time to establish before the summer. Choose a cool, overcast day to avoid root drying during the transplant.

Mix a combination of half quick-draining soil and half organic compost to a depth of 1 metre in the planting site. Nordman firs require loose, fertile soil for good drainage, and prefer slight acidity. Well-rotted manure is an ideal addition for Nordman firs for this reason.

Plant your Nordman fir in a hole that is as deep as its root ball and two to three times as wide. Fill the hole in with amended soil and pack it down around the roots of the tree to eliminate air pockets. Water the tree with 5 cm of water to help it establish.


Nordman firs are not tolerant to drought and may suffer during hot, dry summers.

Buy a potted Nordman fir as your Christmas tree and then plant it the following spring.

Things You'll Need

  • Quick-draining soil
  • Organic compost
  • Shovel
  • Water
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