Southern Balsam Fir Tree Information

Images of Southern Balsam Fir:

Southern Balsam Fir grows in the following 3 states and provinces:

North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia

Information about Southern Balsam Fir:

More information about Southern Balsam Fir may be found here.

The Abies Fraseri is commonly known as the Balsam, Balsam Fraser Fir, Eastern Fir, Fraser Fir, Fraser's Fir, She-balsam, Southern Balsam Fir as well as Southern Fir.

The accepted scientific name for Fraser fir is Abies fraseri (Pursh.) Poiret. It is a member of the family Pinaceae and is very closely related to balsam fir (A. balsamea) . Fir trees in Virginia and West Virginia are intermediate between balsam fir and Fraser fir; the putative hybrid is recognized as Abies x phanerolepis (Fern.) Liu (synonymous with Abies intermedia Full.) .

Fraser fir is restricted to disjunct populations at higher elevations in the southern Appalachian Mountains of southwestern Virginia, western North Carolina, and eastern Tennessee .

At the highest elevations Fraser fir forms nearly pure stands; American mountain ash (Sorbus americana) is usually its only canopy associate. At mid- and lower elevations Fraser fir occurs with eastern hemlock (Tsuga canadensis), yellow buckeye (Aesculus octandra), and sugar maple (Acer saccharum). Mountain maple (A. spicatum), striped maple (A. pensylvanicum), and serviceberry (Amelanchier spp) are common understory associates. Shrub associates include hobblebush (Viburnum alnifolium), witherod (V. cassinoides), redberry elder (Sambucus pubens), southern mountain cranberry (Vaccinium erythrocarpum), catawba rhodendron (Rhodendron catawbiense), and smooth blackberry (Rubus canadensis) . In red spruce-Fraser fir forests, Fraser fir typically makes up 10 to 70 percent of the relative basal area and from 20 to 90 percent of the relative density . Publications that name Fraser fir as a dominant or codominant species in forest classifications include the following: Ground vegetation patterns of the spruce-fir area of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park Vegetation of the Great Smoky Mountains

Some of the information provided here is attributed to:Sullivan, Janet. 1993. Abies fraseri. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). , available at the USDA Fire Effects Information System (FEIS) website