A baby Abies bracteata, Santa Lucia Fir, in the demonstration garden.
New needles of Abies bracteata, Santa Lucia Fir
A young Abies bracteata, Santa Lucia Fir, in the demonstration garden.
Santa Lucia Fir (Abies bracteata) is an evergreen conifer that grows slowly to 70 feet. This fir is a lovely tree which grows in part-shade until established, under the fog drip of existing trees in the mountains east of the Big Sur area of California. This California native fir, also called Bristlecone Fir, has the reputation of being the most human/garden tolerant of the firs. Santa Lucia Fir grows slowly to 3 to 4 ft in 7 years. You can use this uncommon fir where you need a small specimen plant because it grows so slowly. The tree seems to prefer shade when young in the nursery area climate. Weve had no cold damage to these firs at 12 degrees F in containers. The Santa Lucia Fir is very symmetrical and tight in structure often looking like a sheared light green Christmas tree. In its range the rainfall is 30-70 inches/year and Santa Lucia Fir normally grows on granite -based soils. If you live in an inland area of California with hot summers, this fir would benefit from shade and weekly sprinkling with a garden hose (wet the plant but don't wet the soil). This tree also needs mulch of shredded redwood bark or oak leaf mulch.