How to Plant Your Balsam Fir
Balsam Firs are great memorial trees because they are native to Nova Scotia, are easy to care for, and grow quickly. In ideal conditions, a balsam fir can grow about a foot a year. In the wild, they can grow to 90 to 100 feet. You can also keep them in your home until they are a good size, or you can plant them as a sapling.
Most people think of a Balsam Fir as a Christmas Tree, because a lot of balsam firs are grown for this reason. They have a speedy growing time, and the pine cones stand up and brake up when they ripen. Most Balsam Firs have a neat, round shape, and have a bluish-green color that stands out. We picked Balsam Firs for our Service of Remembrance tree for these reasons. Here is how to plant a Balsam Fir.
Growing a Balsam Fir Inside
Some people keep their Balsam Firs inside until the spring, or until they are a few feet in height. When planting your Balsam Fir inside, you will need a good sized pot i.e. an 8 inch. The root system will quickly grow, and you may need to switch pots more often if you use a smaller pot. The tree should also be watered once a week. Saplings and young trees need a lot of water, so make sure to saturate the soil each time that you water.
A Balsam Fir should be placed in an area that has lots of room to grow, and that gets light most of the day.
When to Plant Outside
The best times to plant your Balsam Fir is during the spring and fall. Fall is usually the best time to plant these trees. However, spring is a great option if you have been keeping your Balsam Fir inside, and it is getting too big to keep it your home.
When looking for a place to plant your Balsam Fir, pick a location that is sunny or lightly shaded. This reduces the risk of frost damage and helps the tree grow at a good rate. Make a hole that is large enough for your tree’s roots and water the ground before planting the tree. Watering the ground helps ensure that your Balsam Fir will have water reaching its roots soon after being planted. Remove the tree from its pot, which is easier if the soil in the pot is damp. Mulch immediately after planting. Around 10cm of mulch is recommended.
While the tree is young, it still needs to be watered weekly if it has not rained or if it has been a very warm week. Young Balsam Firs need a lot of water, so you can use a soaker hose, or bury the end of a water hose under the mulch and run the water slowly to keep your tree watered. Once the tree has time to root deeper into the ground, you will not need to water it as often, if at all.
In the spring, Balsam Firs should be lightly fertilized to help protect the roots, and improve growth. Over-fertilizing can damage the tree, so be careful to not overdo it. Mature trees do not need to be fertilized every year.
Memorial trees are a great way of remembering our loved ones while protecting the environment. If you are thinking about planting a memorial tree in a cemetery, please contact the cemetery before planting. Some cemeteries have strict rules about what can and cannot be placed or planted in the cemetery.