Want to grow your own Christmas tree? 🙂
Canaan fir is an attractive, medium-sized, pyramidal-shaped evergreen with soft, fragrant, bluish-green foliage. Generally, needles are spreading and uncrowded on the branch, but on some trees, can be shorter and curved upwards. Significant variation can occur in both tree habit and needle type. Cones are 2-4″ long, develop in the upper canopy of the tree, and are a, eye-catching deep purple when young. They mature to grey-brown.
It is commonly thought that Canaan fir represents a cross between Fraser and balsam fir, but per Penn State Extension “presently Canaan fir is considered a special ecotype, or variety of balsam fir, whereas Fraser fir (A. fraseri) is considered a separate species.” Canaan fir hails from the Canaan Valley in West Virginia. It is not as particular in its site requirements as a Fraser fir, and tends to break bud late so it tends not to be affected by late frosts.
Planting evergreens provide food and shelter for our wildlife.
While Canaan fir will tolerate soils with less than perfect drainage, it performs best in deep, well-drained loam with ample moisture.
photo credit: Joseph O’Brien, USDA Forest Service, United States