Home » Blog » The rise of the Nordmann fir!

The rise of the Nordmann fir!

The Nordmann Fir is undoubtedly Britain’s most popular Christmas Tree but it wasn’t always the case! It’s actually a relative newcomer to our festive season. In the 1980s and early 1990s, the traditional Christmas Tree was the Norwegian Spruce and anyone over the age of 40 will remember their distinctive scent as part of their childhood Christmases. So how did the Nordmann Fir come to dominate the Christmas Tree market?

Where does the Nordmann Fir come from?

Nordmann Fir are native to the mountainous areas around the Black Sea – in Georgia, Turkey and the Russian Caucasus. The Finnish botanist Alexander von Nordmann discovered the Nordmann fir during an expedition to the Caucasus in 1836, and so it was named after him.

In the mid-20th Century, Danish nurseries began to cultivate Nordmann fir seed, gathered from an area of forest in Georgia. This area of forest is where most of the Nordmann fir grown as Christmas trees originate from. By the late 1980s the Nordmann Fir began to be sold as Christmas Trees in Northern Europe and Britain.

Nordmann fir saplings
Sapling Nordmann Firs growing at our farm

Growing from strength to strength

The Nordmann Fir soon became a runaway favourite Christmas Tree, due to its beautiful shape and soft, non-drop needles.

Here at Frenchay Christmas Tree Farm, we planted our first Nordmann Fir saplings, bought from a Danish nursery, in 1999. We now grow more Nordmann Fir than any of our other tree varieties put together.

And meanwhile, Danish nurseries have continued to select the best seeds and seeds from the trees grown from those seeds, to further improve the quality of these trees – both for ease of cultivation and for successful display.

We have experimented with different selections here at our farm and have recently settled on the one that seems to suit our soil the best and that won’t flush too early – this helps protect the young growth from the late spring frosts we sometimes get.

In the meantime, Danish nurseries are no longer reliant on collecting seeds in a small area of Georgia, as they produce a steady supply of seed of their own. This is good news for everyone who loves a Nordmann Fir at Christmas, as it means the supply chain is less likely to be interrupted by a bad season or a forest fire. The Nordmann Fir looks set to reign as King of the Christmas Trees!

Nordmann fir decorated

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *