Q: My favorite Christmas tree is the beautiful Noble fir. They are next to impossible to find. I want to grow my own in my backyard. Could you give me a suggestion where I could purchase a live one?
A: Noble fir, ^Abies procera^, is a gorgeous tree. It is densely evergreen and very symmetrical, but slow growing, reaching fifty feet in fifty years. Unfortunately, its native range is almost exclusively the maritime forests of Oregon. You can occasionally find cut Noble fir trees for Christmas but they are expensive because they have to be shipped from the West Coast. Fraser fir, ^Abies fraseri^, is a popular Southern Christmas tree but it only grows at elevations above 4500 feet in the Southern Appalachians. Investigate cryptomeria, ^Cryptomeria japonica^, or Canadian hemlock, ^Tsuga canadensis^, as substitutes for Noble fir outdoors.