Family: Pinaceae

Scientific Name: Abies balsamea

Common Name: Balsam Fir


Balsam Fir (Abies balsamea) A native tree found growing near streams, ponds and lakes.

Plant TypeTrees Coniferous, Site author's observations
Hardiness Zone2-6
Sunlightfull, can tolerate some shade
Moistureaverage, prefers moist
Soil & Siteaverage, humusy, woodsy, acidic
Temperatureprefers cool temperatures
Fruit1 3/4"-3 1/4" long cones
Leavesneedles, evergreen, flat, white underside, arrange in horizontal ranks, 3/8"-1/4" long, aromatic when crushed, pictinate or comb like arrangement
Stemsbark produces blisters of sap
Dimensions40-60 to 100 feet tall, steeple-shaped
Native SiteNorthern USA and Canada.
Misc FactsCommonly used as Christmas trees. Abies is the Latin name for silver fir.
Author's NotesGrowing up in the Superior Wisconsin (USA) area this was a common tree, I wonder how many times I got my hands full of the sticky pitch by popping the sap blisters on the bark.
Notes & Reference#66-Trees of Eastern and North central USA and Canada (Harlow), #181-Native Trees for North America (Guy Sternberg), #152B-The Flora of Wisconsin (, #258- Gymnosperm Database (
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