Fraser Fir

Topics: Fir, Christmas tree, Abies fraseri Pages: 3 (1162 words) Published: October 22, 2013
Abies fraseri is a small to medium sized fir tree, although the tallest one reported was over eighty-five feet tall. One of the interesting things about this species of fir is that it is one of the only fir’s that grows in the Southern region of the Appalachian Mountains in western North Carolina, southwestern Virginia and eastern Tennessee. The highest native habitat of the Fraser fir is Mount Mitchell, North Carolina. Abies fraseri has many common names including she-balsam and southern balsam fir but its most known common name is the Fraser fir. The Fraser fir is believed to be part of a remnant forest that ages back to the Ice Age and that is why they are now only found on the highest elevations of the Appalachian Mountains. The Fraser fir is names after John Fraser, a Scottish botanist who explored the Southern Appalachian Mountains in the 18th century.

Historically Fraser firs have been most known for being a Christmas tree however before it became a favorite for the Christmas tree it was used for medicinal purposes by the Cherokee Indians. The resin of the tree was used to treat fresh external wounds and even some internal wounds. The Cherokee’s used the Fraser fir to treat a wide array of medical issues such as colds, internal ulcers, lung pains, kidney trouble, constipation and venereal diseases. Historically Fraser firs have been used as Christmas trees over any other fir because they have one very special characteristic about them that the other firs don’t seem to possess. When it comes to appearance the Fraser fir is very similar to the others, it also has a pleasant fragrance, soft needles, strong branches and beautiful colorings. The characteristic that sets them apart from the others is the ability to retain its needles for a very long time after being cut down. In a study completed by Dr. Gary Chastagner in the Pacific Northwest and by Dr. Eric Hinsley at NC State, it was found that the Fraser firs ability to hold its needles when...

Cited: Beck, Donald E. "Fraser Fir." Abies Fraseri (Pursh) Poir.. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Nov. 2012. .
Cregg, Bert, and Nick Gooch. Great Lakes Christmas Tree Journal. 2008. Web. 28 Nov. 2012. .
McKinley, Craig. "Fraser Fir Trees." North Carolina Fraser Fir The Perfect Christmas Tree. N.p., 2010. Web. 28 Nov. 2012. .
Nicholls, Thomas H., Louis F. Wilson, and Et. Al. Christmas Tree Pest Manual. United States Department Of Agriculture, 1998. Christmas Tree Pest Manual Second Edition. Web. 28 Nov. 2012. .
Sidebottom, Jill. "History of the North Carolina Christmas Tree Industry." Why Fraser Fir?. NC State Universtiy And NC A&T University Cooperative Extension, 23 Sept. 2009. Web. 28 Nov. 2012. .
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