The massive, majestic form of the needle fir clearly distinguishes it from other firs at Mustila. It has rough bark, long slightly upswept strong branches and stiff sharp-pointed needles of a lively green. Its timber is durable and a rich dark brown.
Needle fir was found in North Korea near the end of the 1800s. It also grows in the Ussuri area near Vladivostok and in north-eastern China, near the border with North Korea. In the West, its use has been limited to collections. It is rather slow-growing but tough, hardy and requires little attention; it does best growing in full sunlight in rich soil. It is one of the few firs untroubled by fir aphids. For beauty and hardiness it ranks high among Mustila’s conifers.
The handsome specimen at the lower edge of Etelärinne (Southern slope) is probably the oldest individual of the species to be found in the West. It dates from the collection made by the famous botanist V. L. Komarov on his expedition to Korea in 1897. Seed was also received from North Korea in the 1930s, while in the 1990s and the early years of this millennium batches have also been received from South Korea, Manchuria, and the Ussuri area of Russia. All these provenances have shown themselves to be hardy so far.