balsam fir
Abies balsamea

Balsam fir is an important conifer of the northernmost parts of eastern and central U.S. and Canada. It is both commercially useful and integral to the survival many species of northern wildlife.

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Light Water
Growth   Size

Timber Value

      Balsam fir is used for light frame construction lumber, cabin logs, paneling, crates, pulpwood, and Christmas trees and wreaths.


Wildlife Value
      Balsam fir provides a variety of wildlife with food and cover. Moose eat the vegetation extensively in the winter. Black bears strip off the bark and lick the exposed tissue.
          Attracts: mice, voles, red squirrels, birds, deer, moose, black bear

Regeneration methods
      Balsam fir is very shade tolerant and is regenerated by shelterwood and group selection methods. Because of its shade tolerance, advanced regeneration is often in great abundance in the understory.

Important Problems Early Detection tips
spruce budworm deformed growth

Fun facts
Balsam fir is a common Christmas tree, and the foliage is often used for decoration. Wood is often used as pulpwood. Oleoresin, or Canada balsam, is a gummy substance found within the bubbles of balsam fir's bark. It was once used as the primary medium for mounting microscope slides.
Abies: ancient name - rising or tall tree, name for the European fir / balsamea: balsam-producing
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2004 Virginia Tech Forestry Department, all rights reserved. Text, images, and programming by: Dr. Jeff Kirwan, Dr. John R. Seiler, John A. Peterson, Edward C. Jensen, Guy Phillips, or Andrew S. Meeks.

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