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Edible uses


Young shoot tips are used as a substitute for tea[1][2].

The pitch obtained from the bark can be hardened (probably by immersing it in cold water[K]) and used as a chewing gum[3].

Inner bark[3]. No further information is given, but inner bark can be dried, ground into a powder and then used with grain flours etc to make bread and other preparations[3].

Unknown part

Inner bark

Material uses

The boughs are fragrant and can be hung in the home as an air freshener[3].

Wood - hard, light, not strong, close grained, not very durable. It is used for framing small buildings but is not strong enough for larger buildings. It is also used for crates, pulp etc[4][5][6][7][8].

This tree yields the resin 'Canadian Balsam'[7]. The report does not mention the uses of this balsam, but the following are the ways that it is used when obtained from A. balsamea:-

The balsamic resin 'Balm of Gilead'[9][4] or 'Canada Balsam' according to other reports[10][7][11] is obtained during July and August from blisters in the bark or by cutting pockets in the wood[12]. Another report says that it is a turpentine[13]. It is used medicinally and in dentistry, 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][4][10][6][12][7][11]. The average yield is about 8 - 10 oz per tree[13]. The resin is also a fixative in soaps and perfumery[13][11].

Unknown part

Medicinal uses(Warning!)

This plant was used quite widely by native North American Indians. An infusion of the bark was used as a tonic and to treat stomach ailments, TB, haemorrhoids and various minor complaints[3]. The pitch, or resin, was also used to treat colds, sore throats etc[3].

The bark of this tree contains blisters that are filled with a resin called 'Canadian Balsam'[7]. Although the report does not mention the uses of this resin, it can almost certainly be used in the same ways as the resin of A. balsamea, as detailed below:-

The resin obtained from this tree (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[14][12][7]. It is also used to treat sore nipples[14] and is said to be one of the best curatives for a sore throat[15]. The resin is also antiscorbutic, diuretic, stimulant and tonic[16][13][12]. It is used internally in propriety mixtures to treat coughs and diarrhoea, though taken in excess it is purgative[11]. A warm liquid of the gummy sap was drunk as a treatment for gonorrhoea[17].

A tea made from the leaves is antiscorbutic[16][13]. It is used in the treatment of coughs, colds and fevers[12]. The leaves and young shoots are best harvested in the spring and dried for later use[11].
There are no medicinal uses listed for Abies amabilis.


Ecosystem niche/layer


Ecological Functions

Nothing listed.


Nothing listed.


Nothing listed.


Seed - sow early February in a greenhouse or outdoors in March[18]. Germination is often poor, usually taking about 6 - 8 weeks[18]. 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[19][20]. The seed remains viable for up to 5 years if it is well stored[20]. 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[18] whilst another report says that they are best grown on in a sunny position[19].

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


Requires a good moist but not water-logged soil in a sheltered position[21]. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Plants are very shade tolerant[9][22] but growth is slower in dense shade[22]. Intolerant of atmospheric pollution[21]. Prefers slightly acid conditions down to a pH of about 5[23]. Prefers growing on a north-facing slope[23]. Trees are somewhat shallow rooted and are therefore susceptible to strong winds[8].

Grows best in the Perthshire valleys of Scotland[9]. It does very well on glacial moraines in Scotland[22]. When grown in an open position, the tree clothes itself to the ground with gracefully drooping branches, though on the whole, this species does not grow well in Britain[9]. Trees have been of variable growth in this country and seem to be short-lived[24]. The best and fastest growing specimens are to be found in the north and far west of the country[24]. Growth in girth can be very quick, 1.8 metres in 35 years has been recorded[24]. 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[23]. The crushed leaves have an odour like orange peel[9]. Plants are strongly outbreeding, self-fertilized seed usually grows poorly[23]. They hybridize freely with other members of this genus[23]. This species is often confused with A. nordmanniana[9]. A very ornamental plant[21]. Trees are sometimes grown as 'Christmas trees'[23].

Plants are susceptible to injury by aphis[9].


Problems, pests & diseases

Associations & Interactions

There are no interactions listed for Abies amabilis. 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 amabilis.




None listed.


None listed.

Full Data

This table shows all the data stored for this plant.

Binomial name
Abies amabilis
Imported References
Edible uses
Material uses & Functions
Edible uses
None listed.
Material uses
None listed.
Medicinal uses
None listed.
Functions & Nature
Provides forage for
Provides shelter for
Hardiness Zone
Heat Zone
full sun
permanent shade
Soil PH
Soil Texture
Soil Water Retention
Environmental Tolerances
    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.
    Deciduous or Evergreen
    Herbaceous or Woody
    Life Cycle
    Growth Rate
    Mature Size
    30 x 5 meters
    Flower Colour
    Flower Type

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    1. ? 1.01.1 Kunkel. G. Plants for Human Consumption. Koeltz Scientific Books ISBN 3874292169 (1984-00-00)
    2. ? 2.02.1 Facciola. S. Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants. Kampong Publications ISBN 0-9628087-0-9 (1990-00-00)
    3. ? Moerman. D. Native American Ethnobotany Timber Press. Oregon. ISBN 0-88192-453-9 (1998-00-00)
    4. ? Uphof. J. C. Th. Dictionary of Economic Plants. Weinheim (1959-00-00)
    5. ? 5.05.1 Usher. G. A Dictionary of Plants Used by Man. Constable ISBN 0094579202 (1974-00-00)
    6. ? Sargent. C. S. Manual of the Trees of N. America. Dover Publications Inc. New York. ISBN 0-486-20278-X (1965-00-00)
    7. ? Lauriault. J. Identification Guide to the Trees of Canada Fitzhenry and Whiteside, Ontario. ISBN 0889025649 (1989-00-00)
    8. ? Elias. T. The Complete Trees of N. America. Field Guide and Natural History. Van Nostrand Reinhold Co. ISBN 0442238622 (1980-00-00)
    9. ? Bean. W. Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement. Murray (1981-00-00)
    10. ? Howes. F. N. Vegetable Gums and Resins. Faber ()
    11. ? Bown. D. Encyclopaedia of Herbs and their Uses. Dorling Kindersley, London. ISBN 0-7513-020-31 (1995-00-00)
    12. ? Foster. S. & Duke. J. A. A Field Guide to Medicinal Plants. Eastern and Central N. America. Houghton Mifflin Co. ISBN 0395467225 (1990-00-00)
    13. ? Hill. A. F. Economic Botany. The Maple Press (1952-00-00)
    14. ? Weiner. M. A. Earth Medicine, Earth Food. Ballantine Books ISBN 0-449-90589-6 (1980-00-00)
    15. ? 15.015.1 Genders. R. Scented Flora of the World. Robert Hale. London. ISBN 0-7090-5440-8 (1994-00-00)
    16. ? Grieve. A Modern Herbal. Penguin ISBN 0-14-046-440-9 (1984-00-00)
    17. ? 17.017.1 Craighead. J., Craighead. F. and Davis. R. A Field Guide to Rocky Mountain Wildflowers The Riverside Press ISBN 63-7093 (1963-00-00)
    18. ? Sheat. W. G. Propagation of Trees, Shrubs and Conifers. MacMillan and Co (1948-00-00)
    19. ? 19.019.1 McMillan-Browse. P. Hardy Woody Plants from Seed. Grower Books ISBN 0-901361-21-6 (1985-00-00)
    20. ? 20.020.1 Dirr. M. A. and Heuser. M. W. The Reference Manual of Woody Plant Propagation. Athens Ga. Varsity Press ISBN 0942375009 (1987-00-00)
    21. ? F. Chittendon. RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956 Oxford University Press (1951-00-00)
    22. ? Rushforth. K. Conifers. Christopher Helm ISBN 0-7470-2801-X (1987-00-00)
    23. ? Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992. MacMillan Press ISBN 0-333-47494-5 (1992-00-00)
    24. ? Mitchell. A. F. Conifers in the British Isles. HMSO ISBN 0-11-710012-9 (1975-00-00)
    25. ? Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named PFAFimport-60

    "image:PacificSilverFir 7644.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.

    Facts about "Abies amabilis"RDF feed
    Article is incompleteYes +
    Article requires citationsNo +
    Article requires cleanupYes +
    Belongs to familyPinaceae +
    Belongs to genusAbies +
    Has binomial nameAbies amabilis +
    Has common nameRed Fir +
    Has drought toleranceIntolerant +
    Has edible partUnknown part + and Inner bark +
    Has edible useGum +, Unknown use + and Tea +
    Has fertility typeWind +
    Has flowers of typeMonoecious +
    Has growth rateSlow +
    Has hardiness zone5 +
    Has imagePacificSilverFir 7644.jpg +
    Has lifecycle typePerennial +
    Has material partUnknown part +
    Has material useWood +
    Has mature height30 +
    Has mature width5 +
    Has primary imagePacificSilverFir 7644.jpg +
    Has search nameabies amabilis + and red fir +
    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 amabilis +
    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 migratedYes +
    Tolerates nutritionally poor soilNo +
    Uses mature size measurement unitMeters +
    Has subobjectThis property is a special property in this wiki.Abies amabilis +, Abies amabilis +, Abies amabilis + and Abies amabilis +