The China Fir is an evergreen tree with long, glossy, dark green leaves and a straight trunk. It is in the redwood family. It is native to forested areas of China and Taiwan where it may reach 150’ in height. In cultivation, it more typically grows to 35-70’ tall with a pyramidal form and tiered, spreading, horizontal branching that is slightly pendulous at the tips. It tends to sucker and often grows in a multi-trunked form. Sharply-pointed, finely-toothed, green to blue-green needles (to 2.75” long) are spirally arranged but twisted at the base to give the appearance of being two-ranked. Foliage may bronze in cold winters. Oval to globose fruiting cones (1.5” diameter) appear in small groups (1-3) at the shoot ends. Brown bark of mature trees exfoliates in strips to reveal reddish-brown inner bark. This is a prized timber tree in China. Hardy in zones 7-9.
The seeds have a period of dormancy. They can be planted outdoors in the fall or winter for spring germination or they can be cold stratified to simulate winter conditions and to break their dormancy at any time of the year.
- Soak the seeds in water for 24 hours.
- Put the mixture in a ziplock bag.
- Put the bag in the refrigerator and leave it there for 1 month.
- The seeds like moist, well-drained soil. Prepare a mixture of half potting soil and half sand, perlite or vermiculite. Put the soil in a pot.
- Sow the seeds on the soil.
- Cover the seeds with a layer of soil.
- Water the soil so that it is moist but not wet.
- When the seedlings are a few inches tall, they can be transplanted.