Abies chayuensis W.C.Cheng & L.K.Fu
Abies chengii Rushforth
Abies delavayi Diels
Abies delavayi forrestii (Coltm.-Rog.) A.B.Jacks.
Abies ferreana Bordères & Gaussen
Abies forrestii Craib
Abies georgei Hand.-Mazz.
Abies georgei Orr.
Abies rolii Bordères & Gaussen
Abies yuana Bordères & Gaussen
Photograph by: Pete D
Abies forrestii is an evergreen tree with a narrow, conical crown; it can grow up to 40 metres tall with a straight, cylindrical bole[
The tree is harvested from the wild for its wood, which is traded.
Exploitation of this species has (at least officially) ceased with a Chinese forest conservation law (still in order in 2016) now prohibiting logging in old growth forest in the western provinces. The plant is classified as 'Least Concern' in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species(2013)[
E. Asia - southeast Tiber to southern China.
Montane forests, mainly forming pure stands but with mixed conifers and broadleafed trees especially at the forest margins, growing on grey-brown mountain podzols; at elevations from 2,400 - 4,300 metres[
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Abies forrestii is a plant of higher elevations in the temperate zone, where it is found at elevations up to 4,300 metres. The climate is cold and wet, annual precipitation ranges from 1,000 - 2,000mm[
]. Dormant trees are very cold tolerant, but new growth can be damaged by frosts.
Prefers a good moist but not water-logged soil[
]. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Plants are very shade tolerant, especially when young, but growth is slower in dense shade[
]. Intolerant of atmospheric pollution[
]. Prefers slightly acid conditions, down to a pH of about 5[
]. Prefers growing on a north-facing slope[
Trees should be planted into their permanent positions when they are quite small, between 30 and 90cm in height. Larger trees will check badly and hardly put on any growth for several years. This also badly affects root development and wind resistance[
The cones are produced in axils of the previous year's shoots[
Plants are strongly outbreeding, self-fertilized seed usually grows poorly[
]. They hybridize freely with other members of this genus[
The wood has been exploited as a general construction timber[
Seed - sow late winter in a greenhouse or outdoors in early spring[
]. Germination is often poor, usually taking about 6 - 8 weeks[
]. Stratification is said to produce a more even germination so it is probably best to sow the seed in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe in the autumn[
]. The seed remains viable for up to 5 years if it is well stored[
]. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on for at least their first winter in pots. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts.
Alternatively, if you have sufficient seed, it is possible to sow in an outdoor seedbed. One report says that it is best to grow the seedlings on in the shade at a density of about 550 plants per square metre[
] whilst another report says that they are best grown on in a sunny position[