Canaan Valley Fir

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Canaan Valley Fir

Post by bbeduhn » Thu Feb 07, 2019 10:41 pm

I noticed this tree while driving by recently. It appeared to be a Fraser for at first but the bark did not look quite right. I spoke with the homeowner, who just happened to have worked in forestry. He thought it was a balsam fir. I sent the pictures to Will Blozan and he knew of the tree. He knew it wasn’t balsam fir or Fraser fir, but a Canaan Valley for. The Canaan Valley fir is native to the Canaan Valley of West Virginia. It is a variant of the balsam fir. It is grown to become Christmas trees.

72’ tall

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Re: Canaan Valley Fir

Post by tsharp » Fri Feb 08, 2019 12:06 am

Brian, NTS:
Scientific name is Abies balsamea var. phanerolepis. The common name of Canaan fir is probably a result of Christmas tree marketing people. The original source of the variety was Canaan Valley, Tucker County, WV. Both varieties are found in West Virginia plus several plantations of Fraser Fir just to make it interesting.

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Re: Canaan Valley Fir

Post by ElijahW » Mon Feb 11, 2019 4:06 pm


Thanks for posting this. I'd never heard of this fir before, I guess because of its rarity. Though I'm not very familiar with Fraser fir and can't draw any comparisons between it and Canaan Valley fir, this tree would give me pause like it did you. It is not as pyramidal in form as most Balsam firs I've seen, though probably within the natural variation for the species. The foliage also appears bluer than Balsam fir, though that could be caused by light conditions when the photo was taken. Very interesting.

"There is nothing in the world to equal the forest as nature made it. The finest formal forest, the most magnificent artificially grown woods, cannot compare with the grandeur of primeval woodland." Bob Marshall, Recreational Limitations to Silviculture in the Adirondacks

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