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Canaan Fir

Abies balsamea 'var. phanerolepis'

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Canaan Fir (Abies balsamea 'var. phanerolepis') at Snavely's Garden Corner

Canaan Fir

Canaan Fir

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  50 feet

Spread:  25 feet

Sunlight:  full sun  partial shade 

Hardiness Zone:  4a

Other Names:  West Virginia Balsam Fir, Bracted Fir

Description:

A delicate spire-like evergreen producing soft dark green needles, very upright and open; will grow in areas not well suited to other firs; resistant to spring frost injury

Ornamental Features

Canaan Fir has dark green foliage. The needles remain dark green throughout the winter. Neither the flowers nor the fruit are ornamentally significant. The smooth gray bark adds an interesting dimension to the landscape.

Landscape Attributes

Canaan Fir is an evergreen tree with a strong central leader and a distinctive and refined pyramidal form. Its average texture blends into the landscape, but can be balanced by one or two finer or coarser trees or shrubs for an effective composition.

This tree will require occasional maintenance and upkeep, and should not require much pruning, except when necessary, such as to remove dieback. It has no significant negative characteristics.

Canaan Fir is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Shade
  • Vertical Accent

Planting & Growing

Canaan Fir will grow to be about 50 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 25 feet. It has a low canopy, and should not be planted underneath power lines. It grows at a slow rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for 70 years or more.

This tree does best in full sun to partial shade. It is quite adaptable, prefering to grow in average to wet conditions, and will even tolerate some standing water. It is particular about its soil conditions, with a strong preference for sandy, acidic soils. It is quite intolerant of urban pollution, therefore inner city or urban streetside plantings are best avoided, and will benefit from being planted in a relatively sheltered location. Consider applying a thick mulch around the root zone in winter to protect it in exposed locations or colder microclimates. This is a selection of a native North American species.

 
 
Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight Soil pH Preference
Characteristics
Shade  Articulation 
Applications
Plant Form  Bark  Winter Value 
Ornamental Features

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