Balsam Fir (abies balsamea)
1 gram (approx 156 seeds) £1.15
2 grams (approx 312 seeds) £1.75
5 grams (approx 625 seeds) £2.90
10 grams (approx 1250 seeds) £5.50
25 grams (approx 3125 seeds) £12.50
50 grams (approx 6250 seeds) £23.00
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It thrives in cooler climates and demands abundant soil moisture and a humid atmosphere. Growth is best on well-drained, sandy loam soils that are somewhat acid and is highly shade tolerant.
Balsam fir makes an excellent Christmas Tree and is one of the most popular species for this purpose in the USA and Canada. The tree has several desirable properties including a dark green appearance, long-lasting needles, and attractive form. It is also highly aromatic and retains its pleasing fragrance for the duration of the Christmas period. Nine to ten years in the field are required to produce a 2 meter (6-7 foot) tree.
For germination, the seeds require a period of moist pre-chilling also known as stratification before the seeds should be sown, this takes around 6 weeks in the fridge and is not difficult to do!
Germination and after care information sent free with every order.
Germination, Sowing and After Care Information for
Balsam Fir (abies balsamea)
Seeds of the true fir species are relatively easy to germinate and grow. The dormancy within the seed is short and easily broken. This is achieved by a short period of cold stratification in the fridge.
You can do this by first soaking the seeds in water for 24 hours. Fully drain away all of the water and place the seeds in a zip-lock freezer bag. Place the seeds in the fridge, it is important that during this period that the seeds do not dry out or are waterlogged otherwise the pre-treatment will be ineffective. After between 6 and 8 weeks under these conditions the seeds are ready to be sown. In general, the seeds will fail to germinate unless treated in this way, simply sowing untreated seeds in compost at room temperature will not break down the dormancy and germination will be disappointing.
Fill your chosen container with a good quality general potting compost. Suitable containers could be plant pots, seed trays or plug trays or even improvised containers with drainage holes. Firm the compost gently and sow the seeds on the surface. If you are sowing in plug trays, sow 2 or 3 seeds per cell. Cover the seeds with a couple of millimeters of vermiculite or failing that a fine layer of sieved compost. Follow with a gentle watering and keep them at room temperature.
Germination will begin a few weeks from sowing. The seedlings are reasonably robust and trouble free and usually grow to a height of between 2 and 5 cm in the first growing season depending on the sowing date and cultural techniques. Densely sown seedlings are at risk from fungal diseases such as “damping off” which can cause rapid loss of many seedlings.
Developing seedlings should be fine in full sun, keep them well watered and free of competing weeds. Growth will accelerate in the second and subsequent years and the developing young trees should be re-potted as necessary preferably during the dormant season. After perhaps 3 years they are ready to be planted in their permanent position