The Fraser Fir may be the perfect holiday tree. It's attractive 1" needles are silvery-green and soft to the touch. Because there is space between the branches, the Fraser is easier to decorate than some trees. The firm branches hold heavier ornaments. The trees grow to almost perfect shapes, and as long as the cut tree is kept properly watered, the Frasier Fir has excellent needle retention.
The Fraser fir branches turn slightly upward. They have good form and needle-retention. They are dark blue-green in color. They have a pleasant scent, and excellent shipping characteristics as well.
In many respects, Fraser fir and balsam fir are quite similar, although the geographic ranges of the two species do not overlap. Some scientists even suggest that because of the many similarities, the two species were once a single species which has since evolved into the present-day forms.
Fraser fir was named for John Fraser (1750-1811), a Scot botanist who explored the southern Appalachian Mountains in the late 18th century. The species is sometimes called Southern balsam or Southern balsam fir. Locally Fraser fir is known as "She balsam" because of the resin filled blisters on the tree's trunk. Red spruce, often associated with Fraser fir, is called "He balsam" and lacks the distinctive blisters.
Fraser fir is a uniformly pyramid-shaped tree which reaches a maximum height of about 80 feet and a diameter of 1-1.5 feet. Strong branches are turned slightly upward which gives the tree a compact appearance.
When you pick up your tree, or it is delivered, a fresh cut has been made at the bottom of the trunk. The fresh cut removes any “sap cap” that has developed since it was originally harvested and allows the tree to uptake water.
Your tree needs to get in water - nothing fancy, room temp tap water works - ASAP. If you can’t put it in the stand or get it in the house right away, put it in a bucket of tap water in the garage or somewhere safe from freezing.
Occasionally trees don’t want to uptake water, even with a fresh cut. Let your tree sit in the stand for a day before you put your ornaments on just in case… bonus for your patience: branches relax after the tree is unwrapped so waiting actually makes decorating easier.
Trees are thirsty. Check that stand often and refill - particularly at the beginning. Your tree will start to slow water consumption over time. But those thirsty first few hours/days are critical for a long-lasting, happy tree.
Speaking of long lasting… a well cared for tree can last, without drying out, 4-6 weeks. Like all living things, some might last longer, some shorter. Nature is hard to predict.
Sorry to burst your bubble but any of the “tricks” you may have heard for tree longevity - adding aspirin to the tree’s water, seven-up, gin - don’t really work. Plain old Chicago’s Finest room temperature tap water is what you want. [You can, however, mix the 7-up and gin into a cocktail for yourself and take the aspirin the next morning…]
If your tree is stubborn and won’t take water after 48 hours, let us know and we’ll replace it.