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Abies balsamea

Abies balsamea (L.) Mill.

 

Balsam Fir

KingdomPlantaePlants, but not fungi, lichens, or algae
SubkingdomTracheobiontaVascular plants—plants with a “circulatory system” for delivering water and nutrients
DivisionConiferophytaConifers—cone-bearing trees (and a few shrubs)
ClassPinopsidaGymnosperms such as cedars, Douglas-firs, cypresses, firs, junipers, kauri, larches, pines, hemlocks, redwoods, spruces, and yews
OrderPinalesCone-bearing plants: cedar, cypress, fir, juniper, larch, pine, redwood, spruce, yew, and others
FamilyPinaceaePine family: cedars, firs, hemlocks, larches, pines and spruces
GenusAbiesLatin name for silver fir
SpeciesbalsameaContains a resin called Canada balsam

About plant names...

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.

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.

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).

Online References:

Abies balsamea at the United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service (detailed article)

Abies balsamea on (also very informative)

Abies balsamea at the Virginia Tech Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation

Abies balsamea at the University of Connecticut Plant Database

Abies balsamea on the USDA Forest Service's Fire Effects Information Database

Abies balsamea at the Missouri Botanical Garden

Abies balsamea on The Gymnosperm Database

Abies balsamea (Balsam Fir)

5/15/2016 · Mt. Watatic, Ashby, MA

Abies balsamea (Balsam Fir)

6/10/2016 · Lobster Cove Trail, Monhegan Island, ME
≈ 12 × 8" (31 × 20 cm)

Abies balsamea (Balsam Fir)

4/3/2010 · Birch Point Beach State Park, Owl's Head, ME
≈ 11 × 7" (27 × 18 cm)

Abies balsamea (Balsam Fir)

6/16/2013 · Birch Point State Park, Owl’s Head, ME
≈ 8 × 6" (20 × 16 cm)

Abies balsamea (Balsam Fir)

9/18/2009 · Acadia National Park, Bar Harbor, ME
≈ 4 × 2½" (10 × 7 cm) ID is uncertain

Abies balsamea description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 4 Aug 2019.

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Abies balsamea (Balsam Fir)

Notice the bands of white stomata—pores on the needles through which gases are exchanged between the tree and its surroundings. · 5/15/2016 · Mt. Watatic, Ashby, MA

Abies balsamea (Balsam Fir)

7/12/2015 · Mt. Kearsarge, Wilmot/Warner, NH
≈ 7 × 8" (16 × 21 cm)

Abies balsamea (Balsam Fir)

9/18/2009 · Acadia National Park, Bar Harbor, ME
≈ 19 × 12" (47 × 31 cm) ID is uncertain

Abies balsamea (Balsam Fir)

4/3/2010 · Owl’s Head Lighthouse, Owl’s Head, ME
≈ 7 × 4½" (17 × 11 cm)

Abies balsamea (Balsam Fir)

9/19/2009 · Acadia National Park, Bar Harbor, ME
≈ 21 × 14" (52 × 34 cm) ID is uncertain

Abies balsamea (Balsam Fir)

6/16/2013 · Birch Point State Park, Owl’s Head, ME
≈ 12 × 10" (31 × 25 cm)

Abies balsamea (Balsam Fir)

6/16/2013 · Birch Point State Park, Owl’s Head, ME
≈ 15 × 10" (37 × 25 cm)

Range: Zones 3-6:

About this map...