[a.k.a. West Virginia Balsam Fir]
[Abies balsamea var phanerolepis]
Canaan Fir is very similar to the Balsam Fir and the Fraser Fir in appearance, grow zones and other characteristics, making it a very desirable ornamental tree and Christmas tree. It stands out from the often troublesome Fraser in that the Canaan Fir can handle wetter soils and is less affected by root disease…making it an acceptable substitute for Fraser Fir in problematic environments such as poorly draining areas. This species likes richer, darker soils with ample water.
The Canaan Fir is naturally found in isolated populations at higher elevations. This may be why it is slower to break bud than Fraser Fir or Balsam Fir, making it less prone to damage from a late frost. If you’ve been watching the weather since 2010, this alone is a valuable characteristic to have, since gorgeous trees damaged by frost freezes are not gorgeous trees. This species will reach heights of up to 50ft with a nice pyramidal shape under normal circumstances, and provides excellent privacy and wind protection due to its dense growth.
The Canaan Fir is named for the Canaan Valley in West Virginia. It is an excellent alternative to Balsam Fir and Fraser Fir in most situations.