Testing species of genus Abies for Christmas tree production in Norway.
Ten exotic Abies species were tested in two field trials, where the aim was to find suitable species and provenances for Christmas tree production in coastal and fjord areas in Norway. The material included 14 provenances of Abies nordmanniana, 3 provenances of Abies bornmuelleriana, 3 provenances of Abies koreana, 2 provenances of Abies amabilis, and 1 provenance each of Abies equi-trojani, Abies alba, Abies procera, Abies homolepis, Abies nephrolepis, and Abies forrestii. Field trials were established at Gulen in Sogn og Fjordane County and at Verdal in Nord-Trøndelag County. Christmas tree classification was done seven and eight growing seasons after establishment. The Christmas tree yield was higher in Gulen (64%) than in Verdal (45%), which is situated further north. Also, the survival and the height growth were higher in Gulen than in Verdal. A more humid climate and a longer growth season in Gulen may explain some of the differences. Of the 10 species, A. nordmanniana, A. homolepis, and A. bornmuelleriana produced the highest Christmas tree yield at Gulen, while A. homolepis and A. koreana had the highest yield at Verdal. Due to early bud burst, A. equi-trojani and A. bornmuelleriana are only suited for Christmas tree growing in the best climatic areas.