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Uses

Toxic parts

The oleoresin (Canada balsam) can cause dermatitis in some people[1].

Edible uses

Notes

The following uses are for the closely related A. balsamea. Since this species also has blisters of resin in the bark[2], the uses quite probably also apply here.

Inner bark - cooked. It is usually dried, ground into a powder and then used as a thickening in soups etc or mixed with cereals when making bread[3][4]. An emergency food, it is only used when all else fails[5]. An aromatic resinous pitch is found in blisters in the bark[6]. When eaten raw it is delicious and chewy[7][5]. An oleoresin from the pitch is used as a flavouring in sweets, baked goods, ice cream and drinks[5].

Tips of young shoots are used as a tea substitute[4][5].

Unknown part

Inner bark

Material uses

Wood - light, soft, coarse grained, not strong[8]. It is occasionally manufactured into lumber[8].

The following uses are for the closely related A. balsamea. Since this species also has blisters of resin in the bark[2], the uses quite probably also apply here.

The balsamic resin 'Balm of Gilead'[9][10] or 'Canada Balsam' according to other reports[6][11] is obtained during July and August from blisters in the bark or by cutting pockets in the wood[1].. Another report says that it is a turpentine[12]. It is used medicinally, also in the manufacture of glues, candles and as a cement for microscopes and slides - it has a high refractive index resembling that of glass[9][10][6][8][1][11]. The average yield is about 8 - 10 oz per tree[12]. The resin is also a fixative in soaps and perfumery[12].

Leaves are a stuffing material for pillows etc - they impart a pleasant scent[10][13] and also repel moths[14]

Medicinal uses(Warning!)

The following uses are for the closely related A. balsamea. Since this species also has blisters of resin in the bark[2], the uses quite probably also apply here.

The resin obtained from the balsam fir (see 'Uses notes' below) has been used throughout the world and is a very effective antiseptic and healing agent. It is used as a healing and analgesic protective covering for burns, bruises, wounds and sores[15][1][11]. It is also used to treat sore nipples[15] and is said to be one of the best curatives for a sore throat[16]. The buds, resin, and/or sap are used in folk remedies for treating cancers, corns, and warts[17]. The resin is also antiscorbutic, diaphoretic, diuretic, stimulant and tonic[18][12][1]. It is used internally in propriety mixtures to treat coughs and diarrhoea, though taken in excess it is purgative[19]. A warm liquid of the gummy sap was drunk as a treatment for gonorrhoea[20]. A tea made from the leaves is antiscorbutic[18][12]. It is used in the treatment of coughs, colds and fevers[1]. The leaves and young shoots are best harvested in the spring and dried for later use[19].

This plant was widely used medicinally by various North American Indian tribes[21]. The resin was used as an antiseptic healing agent applied externally to wounds, sores, bites etc., it was used as an inhalant to treat headaches and was also taken internally to treat colds, sore throats and various other complaints[21].

Ecology

Ecosystem niche/layer

Canopy

Ecological Functions

Nothing listed.

Forage

Nothing listed.

Shelter

Nothing listed.

Propagation

Seed - sow early February in a greenhouse or outdoors in March[22]. Germination is often poor, usually taking about 6 - 8 weeks[22]. Stratification is said to produce a more even germination so it is probably best to sow the seed in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe in the autumn[23][24]. The seed remains viable for up to 5 years if it is well stored[24]. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on for at least their first winter in pots. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts.

Alternatively, if you have sufficient seed, it is possible to sow in an outdoor seedbed. One report says that it is best to grow the seedlings on in the shade at a density of about 550 plants per square metre[22] whilst another report says that they are best grown on in a sunny position[23].

Trees often self-layer in the wild[11], so this might be a means of increasing named varieties in cultivation[K].

Practical Plants is currently lacking information on propagation instructions of Abies fraseri. Help us fill in the blanks! Edit this page to add your knowledge.



Cultivation

Prefers a good moist but not water-logged soil[25]. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Very shade tolerant, especially when young[2][26], but growth is slower in dense shade[2]. Intolerant of atmospheric pollution[25]. Prefers slightly acid conditions down to a pH of about5[27]. Prefers growing on a north-facing slope[27]. A shallow-rooted plant, making it vulnerable to high winds[28]. A fast-growing but short-lived species[27].

Trees are very cold hardy but are often excited into premature growth in mild winters and this new growth is susceptible to damage by late frosts[9]. No other member of this genus has proved to be of as little value, or so short-lived as this species; there is scarcely a good tree in the country, though it is attractive when young[9]. Usually short-lived in cultivation, though bearing its interesting cones whilst still young[2]. Young trees can be handsome and vigorous, one grew 120cm in two years, but growth soon slows[29]. Trees are known to have lived more than 60 years[29]. Trees should be planted into their permanent positions when they are quite small, between 30 and 90cm in height. Larger trees will check badly and hardly put on any growth for several years. This also badly affects root development and wind resistance[27]. Trees have a thin bark and are therefore susceptible to forest fires[28]. This species is closely related to A. balsamea[9][28]. There are some named forms selected for their ornamental value[27].

Trees can produce cones when only 2 metres tall[27]. Plants are strongly outbreeding, self-fertilized seed usually grows poorly[27]. They hybridize freely with other members of this genus[27]. The cones break up on the tree and if seed is required it should be harvested before the cones break up in early autumn[23].

Crops

Problems, pests & diseases

Associations & Interactions

There are no interactions listed for Abies fraseri. Do you know of an interaction that should be listed here? edit this page to add it.

Polycultures & Guilds

There are no polycultures listed which include Abies fraseri.

Descendants

Cultivars

Varieties

None listed.

Subspecies

None listed.

Full Data

This table shows all the data stored for this plant.

Taxonomy
Binomial name
Abies fraseri
Genus
Abies
Family
Pinaceae
Imported References
Material uses & Functions
Botanic
Propagation
Cultivation
Environment
Cultivation
Uses
Edible uses
None listed.
Material uses
None listed.
Medicinal uses
None listed.
Functions & Nature
Functions
Provides forage for
Provides shelter for
Environment
Hardiness Zone
4
Heat Zone
?
Water
moderate
Sun
full sun
Shade
permanent shade
Soil PH
Soil Texture
Soil Water Retention
Environmental Tolerances
    Ecosystems
    Native Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Adapted Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Native Geographical Range
    None listed.
    Native Environment
    None listed.
    Ecosystem Niche
    Root Zone Tendancy
    None listed.
    Life
    Deciduous or Evergreen
    Herbaceous or Woody
    Life Cycle
    Growth Rate
    Mature Size
    Fertility
    ?
    Pollinators
    Flower Colour
    ?
    Flower Type

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    References

    1. ? 1.01.11.21.31.41.51.61.7 Foster. S. & Duke. J. A. A Field Guide to Medicinal Plants. Eastern and Central N. America. Houghton Mifflin Co. ISBN 0395467225 (1990-00-00)
    2. ? 2.02.12.22.32.42.52.62.72.8 Rushforth. K. Conifers. Christopher Helm ISBN 0-7470-2801-X (1987-00-00)
    3. ? 3.03.1 Tanaka. T. Tanaka's Cyclopaedia of Edible Plants of the World. Keigaku Publishing (1976-00-00)
    4. ? 4.04.14.2 Kunkel. G. Plants for Human Consumption. Koeltz Scientific Books ISBN 3874292169 (1984-00-00)
    5. ? 5.05.15.25.35.4 Facciola. S. Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants. Kampong Publications ISBN 0-9628087-0-9 (1990-00-00)
    6. ? 6.06.16.26.36.4 Howes. F. N. Vegetable Gums and Resins. Faber ()
    7. ? 7.07.1 Turner. N. J. and Szczawinski. A. Edible Wild Fruits and Nuts of Canada. National Museum of Natural Sciences (1978-00-00)
    8. ? 8.08.18.28.38.4 Sargent. C. S. Manual of the Trees of N. America. Dover Publications Inc. New York. ISBN 0-486-20278-X (1965-00-00)
    9. ? 9.09.19.29.39.49.59.6 Bean. W. Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement. Murray (1981-00-00)
    10. ? 10.010.110.210.3 Uphof. J. C. Th. Dictionary of Economic Plants. Weinheim (1959-00-00)
    11. ? 11.011.111.211.311.411.5 Lauriault. J. Identification Guide to the Trees of Canada Fitzhenry and Whiteside, Ontario. ISBN 0889025649 (1989-00-00)
    12. ? 12.012.112.212.312.412.512.6 Hill. A. F. Economic Botany. The Maple Press (1952-00-00)
    13. ? 13.013.1 Usher. G. A Dictionary of Plants Used by Man. Constable ISBN 0094579202 (1974-00-00)
    14. ? 14.014.1 Buchanan. R. A Weavers Garden. ()
    15. ? 15.015.115.2 Weiner. M. A. Earth Medicine, Earth Food. Ballantine Books ISBN 0-449-90589-6 (1980-00-00)
    16. ? 16.016.1 Genders. R. Scented Flora of the World. Robert Hale. London. ISBN 0-7090-5440-8 (1994-00-00)
    17. ? 17.017.1 Duke. J. Handbook of Energy Crops - (1983-00-00)
    18. ? 18.018.118.2 Grieve. A Modern Herbal. Penguin ISBN 0-14-046-440-9 (1984-00-00)
    19. ? 19.019.119.2 Bown. D. Encyclopaedia of Herbs and their Uses. Dorling Kindersley, London. ISBN 0-7513-020-31 (1995-00-00)
    20. ? 20.020.1 Craighead. J., Craighead. F. and Davis. R. A Field Guide to Rocky Mountain Wildflowers The Riverside Press ISBN 63-7093 (1963-00-00)
    21. ? 21.021.121.2 Moerman. D. Native American Ethnobotany Timber Press. Oregon. ISBN 0-88192-453-9 (1998-00-00)
    22. ? 22.022.122.2 Sheat. W. G. Propagation of Trees, Shrubs and Conifers. MacMillan and Co (1948-00-00)
    23. ? 23.023.123.2 McMillan-Browse. P. Hardy Woody Plants from Seed. Grower Books ISBN 0-901361-21-6 (1985-00-00)
    24. ? 24.024.1 Dirr. M. A. and Heuser. M. W. The Reference Manual of Woody Plant Propagation. Athens Ga. Varsity Press ISBN 0942375009 (1987-00-00)
    25. ? 25.025.1 F. Chittendon. RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956 Oxford University Press (1951-00-00)
    26. ? ? The Plantsman. Vol. 6. 1984 - 1985. Royal Horticultural Society (1984-00-00)
    27. ? 27.027.127.227.327.427.527.627.7 Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992. MacMillan Press ISBN 0-333-47494-5 (1992-00-00)
    28. ? 28.028.128.2 Elias. T. The Complete Trees of N. America. Field Guide and Natural History. Van Nostrand Reinhold Co. ISBN 0442238622 (1980-00-00)
    29. ? 29.029.1 Mitchell. A. F. Conifers in the British Isles. HMSO ISBN 0-11-710012-9 (1975-00-00)

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    Facts about "Abies fraseri"RDF feed
    Article is incompleteYes +
    Article requires citationsNo +
    Article requires cleanupYes +
    Belongs to familyPinaceae +
    Belongs to genusAbies +
    Has binomial nameAbies fraseri +
    Has common nameShe Balsam +
    Has drought toleranceIntolerant +
    Has edible partUnknown part + and Inner bark +
    Has edible useCondiment +, Gum +, Unknown use + and Tea +
    Has fertility typeWind +
    Has flowers of typeMonoecious +
    Has growth rateVigorous +
    Has hardiness zone4 +
    Has imageAbies fraseri seeds.jpg +
    Has lifecycle typePerennial +
    Has material partUnknown part +
    Has material useAdhesive +, Microscope +, Repellent +, Resin +, Stuffing + and Wood +
    Has mature height15 +
    Has medicinal partUnknown part +
    Has medicinal useAnalgesic +, Antiscorbutic +, Antiseptic +, Diuretic +, Poultice +, Stimulant +, Tonic + and VD +
    Has primary imageAbies fraseri seeds.jpg +
    Has search nameabies fraseri + and she balsam +
    Has shade tolerancePermanent shade +
    Has soil ph preferenceAcid + and Neutral +
    Has soil texture preferenceSandy +, Loamy +, Clay + and Heavy clay +
    Has sun preferenceFull sun +
    Has taxonomic rankSpecies +
    Has taxonomy nameAbies fraseri +
    Has water requirementsmoderate +
    Inhabits ecosystem nicheCanopy +
    Is deciduous or evergreenEvergreen +
    Is herbaceous or woodyWoody +
    Is taxonomy typeSpecies +
    PFAF cultivation notes migratedNo +
    PFAF edible use notes migratedNo +
    PFAF material use notes migratedNo +
    PFAF medicinal use notes migratedNo +
    PFAF propagation notes migratedNo +
    PFAF toxicity notes migratedNo +
    Tolerates nutritionally poor soilNo +
    Uses mature size measurement unitMeters +
    Has subobjectThis property is a special property in this wiki.Abies fraseri +, Abies fraseri +, Abies fraseri +, Abies fraseri +, Abies fraseri +, Abies fraseri +, Abies fraseri +, Abies fraseri +, Abies fraseri +, Abies fraseri +, Abies fraseri +, Abies fraseri +, Abies fraseri +, Abies fraseri +, Abies fraseri +, Abies fraseri +, Abies fraseri + and Abies fraseri +