Fir bonsai are rare and should only be considered suitable for the most advanced amateurs.

There are a large number of different species of trees that can be used for bonsai; nearly all share the characteristic of being able to produce new buds on old wood allowing continual pruning and re-generation to take place.

Other preferred qualities for bonsai in a tree species include small leaves or leaves that reduce in size with training, short internodes (the distance between each leaf-joint along a branch) and the ability to withstand root disturbance.

The following guides cover a large range of coniferous and broadleaved, evergreen and deciduous trees that have the potential for use as bonsai to one degree or another. Some species are commonly seen such as the Elms, Junipers and Pines, others such as Grapevines, Tamarix and Hederas may be a rare occurrence but can have their own qualities and characteristics that make them of interest to the enthusiast.
Fir bonsai are rare and should only be considered suitable for the most advanced amateurs.

This list is by no means comprehensive; there are many species missing from this list that have great potential for bonsai.

Firs Bonsai Species Guide.

With respect to cultivation notes, this guide is written from European (UK) perspective where Summer temperatures rarely reach above 30°C and winter temps will rarely fall lower than -10°C.
Fir bonsai are rare and should only be considered suitable for the most advanced amateurs.Click to Tweet
For hotter or colder climates, extra care must be taken for the protection of trees against the sun in summer, the frost in winter and also large fluctuations in temperature between day and night.

Heights listed in the guide are based on mature trees growing in ideal conditions in their natural habitat. Leaf-sizes are given based on field or garden trees, with bonsai cultivation it is possible to reduce the size of leaves of most species by a half or even more.



Genus Overview.

Firs is a genus of around 50 species of evergreen conifer from Europe, North Africa, North America and Asia, dominating mountainous regions. Their branches bear mid to dark green flattened needles. Abies are fully hardy although frost may damage new foliage early in the season if left unprotected. Abies prefer a position out of cold drying winds with slight shade.

Fir bonsai are rare as the genus is not particularly well suited to bonsai and this species should be considered as one more suitable for advanced bonsai enthusiasts.

Species for Bonsai: this is a list of some of the more commonly available Abies species though it is by no means exhaustive.

Abies alba /Silver Fir.

Predominately found in mountainous regions of Central and South-East Europe reaching up to 50m in height given ideal conditions. As a mature tree has a columnar shape with a flattened top. Needles 1.5cm to 3.5cm long which last 8-12 years if left unplucked.

Abies koreana/ Korean Fir.

A small tree (to 15m) found in South Korea. 1-2 cm long needles, dark green in colour with chalky-white underneath. Cones sometimes appear Oct- Nov even on young trees. New growth frost-sensitive- protect in Spring.

Abies lasiocarpa/ Alpine Fir.

Small, narrowly pyramidal tree with corky bark to 10metres. Has densely arranged grey-green needles 1.5-3.5cm long. Typically found in North America.

Read also: California Junipers: Tripper (Dedicated to Mr. Harry Hirao).

Abies lasiocarpa var. arizonica/ Corkbark Fir.

Has thicker, soft bark, silvery-grey leaves 2.5-3.5cm long.


Bonsai Cultivation.


  • Position Slight shade out of cold, drying winds and the midday sun during the Summer.
  • Feeding From the appearance of new foliage until Autumn.
  • Repotting Every two to three years in Spring as buds appear or Autumn for young trees, as and when necessary for mature specimens. 
  • Add a small volume of organic material to inorganic soil mixes but ensure the soil used is still fast draining.
  • Pruning Pruning and styling very similar to that of Picea species; cut back fresh growth as it extends to produce a more compact second flush of growth and back budding from the base of old needles.
  • Propagation From seed, air-layering, ground-layering and cuttings.
  • Styles Medium to large sizes. Upright, slanting, cascade, literati, multiple trunk styles and group plantings.

Images Photo Gallery.

Predominately found in mountainous regions of Central and South-East Europe reaching up to 50m in height given ideal conditions.

Heights listed in the guide are based on mature trees growing in ideal conditions in their natural habitat.

Firs is a genus of around 50 species of evergreen conifer from Europe, North Africa, North America and Asia, dominating mountainous regions.

If you liked this article, subscribe to the feed by clicking the image below to keep informed about new contents of the blog:
The-Ancient-Art-Of-Bonsai
Share on Google Plus

Other Similar Posts That Could Interest You By Fausto Baccino

Do you ever wonder what happens when your readers reach the end of your posts? What do they click on? Where do they go next? What if you’ve piqued a reader’s interest and left them wanting more, but don’t give them the option to do so? Now, we’ll search your site for similar posts you’ve written and display a “Related” section at the end of every post, like this:
    Blogger Comment
    Facebook Comment

2 commenti :

  1. Firs are one of the most adaptable and beautiful species to convert them into bonsai. Very good article. Greetings and congratulations.

    ReplyDelete