Ed Golson Outdoor Education

balsam fir

Scientific Name: Abies balsamea



Description: The needles of the balsam fir are different from other coniferous trees in that they only point off to the sides, not to the top and bottom. They have needles that are attached along the top and bottom of the twig, but they curl in such a way as to point off to the side of the twig. The needles are a shiny green in color and grow to about ¾ of an inch long.  

The tree itself is medium sized, often reaching a height of 80 feet. The crown, or top, of the fir is very narrow and pointed. The bark of the balsam fir is a silvery grayish-brown in color. The bark is smooth except for many small resin blisters.  

Balsam firs can be found in many different areas, but they prefer habitats with cool summers and cold winters. They do best in wet and swampy areas.



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