Friends of Westonbirt Arboretum

Tree of the Month - May 2016

Posted: April 29, 2016 at 16:02 pm

What is tree of the month?

Abies delavayi

Abies delavayi

Why is it tree of the month?

Delavay’s fir, named for the French missionary P.J.M. Delavay who collected plants in China in the late 1800s, is a species found at high elevations in southwest China and neighbouring regions.

One of a number of Abies species that have blue cones, they are particularly noticeable just now. Abies species tend to produce cones towards the top of the tree and not all do so when young, but one of our plants, planted in 2002 has been doing so for the last few years. What is more, many of the are on low branches making them ideal for a closer look, or the odd photograph!

Where can I find it?

This particular specimen (17.0253) is found between Mitchell Drive and Main Drive, close to the boundary with the Downs. Another, from the same seed source, grows along Broad Drive, though doesn’t form cones so reliably.

Dendrologist Dan Crowley admiring Abies delavayi