Balsam fir is native to North America. They can live for up to 200 years. It is found
mixed with other trees such as spruce, hemlock, white birch, aspen, and red maple in boreal forests.
They prefer glacial, acid, humusy soils, with abundant rainfall.
They are a popular choice for a Christmas tree.
Plants: 46-66' (14-20 m) tall, up to a maximum
of 89' (27 m). They are conical, and tend to be symmetrical.
Bark is thin, smooth, and gray or gray-brown; with resin blisters. On older trees, the bark becomes brown
and scaly. Trees reach a diameter of 12-30" (30-76 cm).
Leaves: Flat shiny dark green needles ½-⅞" (1.5-2.5 cm) long.
Needle tips may be flat, notched, or rounded. Each needle has pale white bands comprised of tiny dots
called stomata. Needles have a distinctive, pleasant aroma when crushed.
Fruits: Cones are 1½-3" (4-8 cm) long, green aging to dark
purple, and drying to brown. Individual seeds are triangular, ¹/₁₆-³/₁₆" (3-6 mm) × ¹/₁₆-⅛" (2-3 mm).
Abies balsamea at the United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service (detailed article)
Abies balsamea on Earl J.S. Rook's Flora, Fauna, Earth, and Sky ...
The Natural History of the Northwoods (also very informative)
Abies balsamea at the Virginia Tech Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation