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Canaan Fir

Will Ship Spring 2024

Plant Type: Evergreen, bare-root

Zones:  4-7

Soil Type:  Loamy & Sandy Soils

Site Selection: Full Sun, Partial Sun

Mature Height & Width:  45-55' Height and 15-25' Spread

Growth Rate:  Moderate - 12-24" per year once established

Moisture Requirements: Average

Canaan Fir Plugs Also Available - CLICK HERE

Plant Characteristics

Canaan Fir

Abies balsamea var phanerolepsis

The Canaan Fir is a stately fir that boasts dense, dark green to bluish fragrant foliage. With excellent needle retention, it is a sought after choice for Christmas tree production. A fine addition to your landscape whether in groups or as a single specimen. Needles are about an inch in length and cones are 3-4", growing upright on its branches. While similar to the Fraser and Balsam Fir in appearance and growth habit, the Canaan Fir will grow in heavier soils as well as soil with a higher pH level. Avoid heavy wet clay. Since this tree exhibits a later bud break, the Canaan Fir is less susceptible to spring frost injury. Fairly deer resistant. Drought tolerant once established. Buy Canaan Fir tree seedlings from our nursery today!

  • Elegant Fir with dark green bluish needles
  • Will grow in clay soils as long as they are not heavy and wet in nature
  • Later bud break minimizes chances of spring frost injury on tender new buds
  • Once established the Canaan Fir exhibits good drought tolerance
  • Fairly deer resistant unlike the Fraser and Balsam Fir
  • Commonly referred to as the West Virginia Balsam fir even though the Canaan has its own unique ecotype
  • Pronounced "Ka-naan" with the emphasis put on the last half of the word.


Fun fact: The Canaan Fir derived its name from the Canaan Valley in West Virginia

Common Uses:

  • Christmas tree production
  • Ornamental and specimen tree
  • Watershed and water quality protection
  • Landscape groupings or as a specimen
  • As part of a windbreak

Many birds enjoy a place for nesting, roosting and general protection from winter weather.  Red Squirrels and birds sometimes eat the seeds from the cones that are produced on the Canaan Fir. 

Product Questions

When is the best time of year to plant conifer seedlings?
Question by: RICHARD W KING on Oct 19, 2020, 7:46 PM
We feel it is best to plant dormant, bare root nursery stock in the spring months so the plants have time to acclimate and establish their roots. We only have a spring delivery option, no fall delivery option.
Answer by: Chief River Nursery on Oct 20, 2020, 11:06 AM
I was wondering if you could help clarify something for me because I would like to buy some Canaan Firs from you. Is the hardiness zones 4-7 the definite range? I have read in other places that they can be planted in zone 8. Do you have any information that maybe can help clarify this problem I have run into when looking to buy the Canaan Firs?
Question by: Joshua on Jul 25, 2021, 10:30 PM
The stock we sell we recommend hardiness zones 4-7. These are the zones that would qualify for our limited guarantee. If you plant outside of these zones, they may survive or grow at a slower rate. However we would not be able to guarantee the stock.
Answer by: Chief River Nursery on Jul 26, 2021, 10:15 AM
What spacing would you recommend for planting a two-row privacy screen with Canaan Firs?
Question by: Benjamin on Sep 5, 2021, 3:17 PM
Canaan Fir have a mature spread of 15-25'. For a privacy screen you would want the branches of the trees to touch. To achieve this planting 15-20' apart would be best!
Answer by: Chief River Nursery on Sep 7, 2021, 10:15 AM
Any fall shipping?
Question by: Pete kovalic on Oct 4, 2022, 7:02 AM
We do not offer a fall shipping option. Only spring delivery. We recommend you place an order in the fall to reserve your stock that you would like to have.
Answer by: Chief River Nursery on Oct 10, 2022, 2:51 PM