The trees can live up to 500 years and are then really stately. They have nothing to do with the little trees that we like to put in our living room for Christmas. The Nordmann fir has a beautiful growth. The crown is initially narrow and later spreads out in a cone shape. The branches are evenly dense. Overall, the tree looks very compact. The needles are soft and shiny and certainly a reason for its popularity as a Christmas tree. The Nordmann fir grows very slowly at first, then much faster later. The trees have a tap root, but they also have strong side roots, after all, they have to hold a large tree.

Nordmann fir – care

The Nordmann fir is a very beautiful conifer. In the first few years, however, it needs a lot of maintenance and is also exposed to some dangers. This wood does not like frost and strong sunlight. The pruning is also often a burden for the tree. With increasing age, the Nordmann fir becomes more and more robust and needs significantly less care. The Nordmann fir is mainly threatened by the pine shoot and some fungi.


They say the Nordmann fir does not like the sun. However, one sees again and again Christmas tree plantations where the trees thrive in full sun. It’s a matter of variety. Some get along much better with the sun than others.

  • Partial to shady location
  • Must be protected from the hot sun.
  • Young seedlings in particular need to be protected from the sun!
  • The tree likes to grow on a northern slope.
  • High humidity is important.
  • The fir trees do not tolerate much air pollution.
  • East winds are unfavorable in winter, at least for young trees. Later they are tougher.

Plant substrate

The plant substrate is one of the deciding factors for the Nordmann fir to feel comfortable and to thrive. It is important that the soil is not too dry. Soils that are too heavy and too light can be improved with simple means.

  • The Nordmann fir likes mild, humus-rich loamy soil or brown earth.
  • It is important to have fresh and deep soil that should be consistently moist.
  • The tree tolerates acidic to basic plant substrates.
  • Heavy clay soils are unfavorable simply because of their poor ventilation. They increase the sensitivity to winter cold.
  • Nordmann firs are sensitive to soil compaction.


If you want to plant a Nordmann fir, you need space. Even if the trees are small at first, they get very, very big. They are not suitable for small home gardens. Transplanting is not possible because the trees have a taproot.

Potted Nordmann firs bought at Christmas time are 99 percent unsuitable for planting out. Your tap root is usually damaged. This means that the trees survive Christmas, but not planting out.

It is best to buy the trees from the nursery. The Nordmann fir trees only offer trees up to 1.60 m, as larger specimens have roots that go too deep and would be damaged when excavated.

  • Plants between the beginning of autumn and the beginning of spring, as long as the ground is not frozen.
  • The planting hole must be really deep.
  • It is important to loosen the bottom of the hole well.
  • Insert the bale and loosen the bale cloth.
  • Fill in the earth and step on it.
  • For the first year of standing, a support pole can help prevent the tree from loosening in a storm.
  • Water well and ensure there is enough water in the following weeks.
  • If you want to set up a plantation for Christmas trees, you have to pay attention to the planting distance. It should be at least 120 x 120 cm. The rows should be laid out slightly offset!

Watering and fertilizing

The Nordmann fir has low demands on water and nutrients. When the trees are young, the soil should be watered regularly. Later on, the trees can supply themselves with water through their deep roots, even in prolonged drought.

  • Water especially young and freshly planted trees.
  • If the needles of the trees mix up the color in the summer when the drought lasts for a long time, they usually have too little water.
  • It is best to use long-term coniferous fertilizer. It only has to be fertilized once a year and the trees receive all the nutrients for 6 months.
  • Brown needles on the tree can be due to a lack of water or nutrients (also pest infestation)


Adult Nordmann firs are usually hardy. However, young trees are quite vulnerable to frost. The icy east winds in particular can cause damage. An optimal location is therefore important. Valley locations or planting on a stream is therefore unfavorable, because it often gets particularly cold there.

Self-grown seedlings need a lot of protection. They need to be protected not only from frost, but also from the sun.

To cut

Nordmann firs are best grown without pruning. This is the best way to show off their beautiful and even growth. The first two years are not cut at all. You can cut later, but you don’t have to. You have to know that the trees made of old wood no longer sprout.

  • Do not cut until the tree is three years old.
  • It is cut after flowering, around June.
  • It is best to cut out only sick, dead and frozen shoots.


The Nordmann fir is easy to propagate by sowing. However, you should use seeds that come directly from the Caucasus, not from European plantations. The tree is originally from the Caucasus.

If a seedling is grown to a Christmas tree by a hobby gardener, the gardener has to wait around 10 to 12 years to get a fir tree height of around 1.80 meters, but only if the fir tree is sufficiently fertilized and cared for .

  • Place seeds in water before sowing. Those that sink can be planted, those that swim above are empty (1 to 2 days)
  • Place seeds in the freezer for 1 to 2 days and in the refrigerator for about 8 to 10 days (cold germinator)
  • You can sow directly in the field, but it makes more sense to use a growing container.
  • Place seeds in humus-rich substrate mixed with sand and cover with soil.
  • Pour on and keep the soil evenly moist, but not wet.
  • It will take a while for the seedlings to show up.

Diseases and pests

Like all conifers, the Nordmann fir suffers from a number of diseases and pests. Fortunately, no parasitic fungi have specialized in this type of tree, although fungal diseases keep popping up. Not many diseases are like that. Occasionally, for example, the honey mushroom, actually an edible mushroom, likes to attack the fir trees and can cause some damage.

Conifer-eating beetles usually avoid the trees. Only the bark beetle and the pine shoot sometimes cause damage, especially in a sunny location. Then mainly young fir trees are threatened.

Systemic insecticides such as pest-free Calypso or pest-free Careo have proven to be particularly effective against pine buds. However, with large trees it is difficult to get to the upper zones. In most cases, a specialist with the appropriate equipment must then be called in. It is also important to do something against the overwintering larvae in the next winter. Mineral oil preparations are good for this, e.g. Promanal® New spray injection.

The Nordmann fir is a beautiful conifer. Most Germans probably had it in their room at Christmas. What many people who plant one of the trees in the garden forget is that the tree does not stay that nice and small. The first few years you can still wind a fairy light chain around the tree in front of the terrace and the living room window, but after 10 years it gets tight. Then the tree is over 4 meters tall and does not stop growing. The Nordmann fir is definitely not a tree for small house gardens, for it you need space and enough distance from your neighbors. If you have it, you can enjoy this tree all your life, because it will outlast us and our next generation, probably also the house in whose garden the tree is. So you have to think twice about planting this tree.

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