Q: When I went to buy my cut Christmas tree several weeks ago, the guys at the lot described it as a “Cuculla” fir. It was very attractive throughout the holidays – especially since it smelled so nicely of tangerines when hot air from the furnace hit it. I want to get another one next year but I’m not sure the tree vendors knew the real name of the tree. Do you know what kind it is?
A: I feel pretty sure you bought a ‘Concolor’ fir (^Abies concolor^). They are not as common as the Frasier fir (^Abies fraseri^) or balsam fir (^Abies balsamea^) at cut tree lots but are not really rare. Charles Berry, owner of Berry Tree farm, says all firs smell “citrusy”, which explains the tangerine smell. Concolor fir has longer needles than the other two – almost two inches long, compared to the half-inch or so of Frasier needles. Like all firs, concolor fir can’t stand growing in the heat of an Atlanta summer. Now that you know the name, you can enjoy it each holiday.