Canaan Fir - abies balsamea phanerolepi

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Canaan fir lightly trimmed for use as a windbreak or X-mas tree.

Canaan fir lightly trimmed for use as a windbreak or X-mas tree.

The Canaan is a medium growing (1-2 ft per year) evergreen. Its needles are about 1 inch long and has a nice green color. It does not shed its needles but holds them for 10 years or longer. It is native to the mountain areas of West Virginia; it was once thought to be a balsam fir but has now been shown to be a distinct species.

Seed cones on Canaan Fir

Seed cones on Canaan Fir

The Canaan fir will grow up to 50 ft tall and 15 ft wide, and has the traditional evergreen shape and a very nice fir smell. Its use in windbreaks is now recommended as been used for over 10 years and are doing fine. It will grow in areas that the Balsam and Fraser fir will not. It will grow on heaver soils and higher ph soils remarkable well. At this time we recommend its use East of Nebraska but have some growing west of that and we are keeping records on how they are doing.

Is now being used for X-mas trees in plantations as I have in my picture growing on a heavy soil. It does not have any serious disease problem in the Midwest, although some people have had spider mites during a hot summer. Being from the east with higher precipitation and humidity it is not bothered by needlecast and canker diseases that western species of fir (Douglas or Concolor) are. Recommend planting on a well-drained soil or on sloping heavy ground so water can run off and not be excessive. 

Potted Canaans ready for sale up to 4 ft tall. Also have bare root ones.

Potted Canaans ready for sale up to 4 ft tall. Also have bare root ones.

A 2-ft tall potted tree can be 8 ft tall in 5 years, in well-drained soil with adequate moisture, and weed and grass control around the base of the tree, with no mulch. Spacing--At this time, recommend inside rows only at 16 to 20 ft between rows and plants. Proper soil planting depth is very important in this species.

The Canaan fir is a really beautiful tree and its use as a windbreak or X-mas tree is highly recommended. It has shown to be an excellent windbreak tree as after 10 years, they have survived droughts, floods, winter winds, and -38F here in Iowa.

Canaan Fir from 3 ft potted to 12 ft tall in 6 years.

Canaan Fir from 3 ft potted to 12 ft tall in 6 years.


Kelly Tree Farm, 191 Quincy Ave. Clarence IA 52216 - PH: 563-452-4300 - ktf@netins.net