The balsam fir is the species of fir tree with the widest range of any North American fir. Known as a Christmas tree and grown in huge quantities on tree farms, the balsam fir is a dark green tree with a pyramid-like shape.
In the wild, a balsam fir can grow to 60 feet, especially in the moist soils that near streams and lakes. The trunks can be almost 2 feet in diameter in the larger trees.
The largest extent of the balsam fir's range lies within Canada, from Alberta eastward to Labrador. In the United States the tree grows from west of the Great Lakes through northern New England.
The bark of a balsam is quite thin and smooth but does possess pockets, or blisters, of a sticky resin that has a pleasing aroma.
Male and female flowers exist on the same tree, with the wind blowing the pollen from the male flower to the female. These then develop into cones, which break apart after ripening to disperse the seeds.
Balsam wood is useful in interior paneling, making crates, creating light frames and as pulpwood. The balsam fir is a premier Christmas tree, retaining its needles and fragrance.
- Balsam Fir:National Christmas Tree Association
- "A Guide to Field Identification-Trees of North America"; C. Frank Brockman;1986
balsam fir tree, balsam Christmas tree, balsam resin
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Prinalgin has written thousands of articles for Demand Studios, Associated Content and The Greyhound Review. A Connecicut native, Prinalgin has written extensively about sports, fishing, and nature.