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Balsam Fir

Balsam Fir - Form Balsam Fir - Leaf Balsam Fir - Bark

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Balsam Fir
G. Lumis

Leaf of Balsam Fir
G. Lumis

Bark of Balsam Fir
G. Lumis

Scientific Name: Abies balsamea (L.) Mill
Other Common Names: Canada balsam, Canadian balsam, eastern fir, balsam, bracted balsam fir

Foliage: Needled Evergreen
Height: 40-75 feet
Spread: 20-25 feet
Shape: Narrow pyramidal
Growth Characteristics: Slow-growing

The balsam fir is known by homeowners primarily as a Christmas tree. It is more rarely used in the garden as an ornamental. The needles are 1-inch long, blunt, rounded and a lustrous dark green. It forms a dense, narrow pyramid. Makes an excellent screen and is a good choice for cooler climates, but in warmer areas it will tend to drop needles and underperform. 

Plant Needs
Zone: 3-7
Light: Full sun to light shade
Moisture: Does not tolerate drought, heat or pollution
Soil Type: Prefers acid, moist to damp soil

Care should be fairly straight-forward provided it is planted on an appropriate site. The balsam fir performs best in the North or at higher elevations, so when you are planting it in a more southerly location, a north-facing slope is preferable. Over time, they will lose their lower limbs.

In warm, humid climates, can suffer from root rot. Susceptible to sun scald in warm climates and is not tolerant of drought or pollution.