Farmer Tom’s Famous Sussex Fir

A fragrant low-drop favourite


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Farmer Tom’s Sussex Fir (otherwise known as the Canaan Fir) is a variety of Balsam Fir originating from, and found principally in, Canada but now growing here in Sussex. Some consider it to be a hybrid of the true Balsam Fir and the Fraser Fir – and it exhibits traits of both trees. It has a great orangey scent (similar to the Fraser), a slimmer profile and good needle retention, and is very popular over in the US. Uncommon on these shores, you won’t find it at many UK outlets. Similar to the Fraser Fir, Sussex Firs grow in a bit more of a wobbly fashion as compared to the Nordman or Norway Spruce. Read more.

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Compact shape
Orangey scent

Your perfect match?

  • You're looking for a tree that will keep its needles well
  • You want a tree on the narrower side
  • You want a tree that smells great

Why buy from us?

Thank you so much for our amazing Christmas tree and for the outstanding service! Will be back next year for sure!


Tree Guide: Farmer Tom’s Famous Sussex Fir

The Sussex Fir is our own take on the Canaan Fir (Abies Balsamea var. Phanerolepis… let’s stick to Sussex Fir), which itself is a variety of the Balsam Fir. Some consider it to be a sort of hybrid between the Balsam and the Fraser firs, and its characteristics and appearance is very similar indeed to the Frasers we grow here on the farm. The Canaan grows a little further north than the Fraser, being natively found from West Virginia up into the southernmost parts of Canada.


The Canaan grows around 1-2ft per year and up to around 50ft tall at the most. It’s a little more hardy than its close relatives (the Balsam and Fraser), growing in a broader range of conditions. In the sunny South East of the UK it does very well.

The Canaan tends to have a blue-green colour, but this can be a little different from tree to tree with some being a brighter green. The branches, like the Fraser, are stiff and quite upward-pointing. The Canaan will grow cones during the year but these will typically be shed well before the Christmas season.

Christmas Tree Credentials

Our Sussex Fir is a favourite because of its:

  • Citrus scent
  • Compact shape
  • Strong branches (good for decorations)
  • Dense appearance
  • Good needle retention
Farmer Tom Says
I'm so proud of it, I put my name on it!
Farmer Tom's Verdict


  • Native to: Southern Appalachians
  • Grows to: 15m
  • Scent: Citrus
  • Needles: Short & thick, not sharp
  • Superpower: Compact shape
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Brought to you by Sussex Christmas Trees

Goddenwick Farm,
Ardingly Road,
West Sussex,
RH16 2QX

Tel: 01444 707360
© 2024 Sussex Christmas Trees Limited

Companies and growers measure Christmas trees in lots of ways, so on our website we’ve tried to keep it relatively simple: our measurements in feet are a minimum height to the top of the tree. So, if you order a 6ft tree it will be at least 6ft from the base of the trunk to the tippy top – typically, it will be a bit taller. Don’t forget to account for this potential extra height – sometimes up to 1.5ft for taller trees.

The long bit on the top of the tree (where you put your star or fairy) is called the ‘leader’. This can be quite long on some trees and much shorter on others – just natural variance – so growers account for this when measuring by taking a height to halfway up the leader (halfway between the top set of branches and the top of the tree). Just to confuse things a bit further, the industry standard is centimetre ranges. Here’s a handy conversion:

Tree ordered - Height to halfway up leader:

4ft tree - 125-150cm

5ft tree - 150-175cm

6ft tree - 175-200cm

7ft tree - 200-225cm

8ft tree - 225-250cm

9ft tree - 250-300cm

With natural products it’s not a perfect science, so these ranges act as a guide and your tree may be a little outside of the ranges in either direction.


If you’re putting your tree in any sort of stand, that will add some height to the tree, so don’t forget to factor it in to the overall measurement! If you need a stand, we sell them here.

Tree width

Bear in mind that the taller your tree, the wider it will be at the base. Nordman Firs and Norway Spruces in particular get quite big and bushy as they get taller, so make sure you’ve got space!