Abies balsamea (L.) P. Mill.
Balsam fir, Balsam
Pinaceae (Pine Family)
The only fir native to the Northeast, with narrow, pointed, spirelike crown of spreading branches and aromatic foliage.
A major pulpwood species. Interior knotty pine paneling is a special product;
Canada balsam, an aromatic oleoresin obtained from swellings or resin blisters in the bark, is used for mounting microscopic specimens and for optical cement. Wood is used for pulp and paper.
No images of this plant
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Tree Leaf Complexity: Simple Leaf Shape:
Linear Breeding System:
, Monoecious Leaf:
Purple, Brown 2-3.5 in. Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Yellow , Green , Purple , Brown
Bloom Time: Sep , Oct , Nov
CT , IN , IA , ME , MD , MA , MI , MN , NH , NY , OH , PA , RI , VT , VA , WV , WI Canada: AB
, YT Native Distribution:
Lab. & Nf. to MN & s. Man., s. to VA & n.e. IA. In North on low, swampy ground to well-drained uplands; in South above 3600 ft. Native Habitat:
Woodland, Riparian, Swamp, Marsh USDA Native Status: L48(N), CAN(N),
Growing ConditionsWater Use:
Medium Light Requirement:
Sun , Part Shade , Shade Soil Moisture:
Moist Soil pH:
Acidic (pH<6.8) CaCO3 Tolerance:
Low Cold Tolerant:
Well-drained, acid, moist soils. Conditions Comments:
This slow-growing tree
loses its lower branches as it matures, but maintains its dense, spire-like habit throughout its life. It needs to be kept cool and moist during the growing season. It is troubled by spruce budworm, woolly aphid and several canker diseases and is heavily browsed by deer. It is very resistant to attack by gypsy moth. The soft foliage makes balsam a favorite Christmas tree.
A common Christmas tree
species. Christmas trees, wreaths, and balsam pillows utilize the aromatic foliage. Use Wildlife:
Songbirds and squirrels eat seed and deer browse foliage. Deer and moose browse the foliage in winter. Use Other:
Balsam has the fortunate property of refracting light to exactly the same extent that glass does so that the balsam matrix, the cover glass, and the microscope lenses become one optical system with the same refractive index. (Peattie) Fragrant Flowers:
Birds , Butterflies
Last Update: 2012-10-20