* Needles 3/8"-1 1/4" long, with two white grooves beneathand a broad
circular base. Twigs smooth after needles removed.
* Cone 1-3", upright and fleshy purplish to green. Falling apart upon
ripening, leaving erect slender central cores.
* Height: 40-60'; diameter: 1-2'.
* Habitat: Bottomland, moist woods. Abundant at elevations above 3000'
in New England.
* Range: Canada to New England, mid-west United States.
* Balsam firs make wonderful Christmas trees; they hold their needles
and fill the house with their pleasant, spicy, distinctive aroma. However,
people who spend considerable time around balsam fir find that they
no longer smell it.
* "Stay green and balsam."
-Saying embroidered on certain kitschy potpourri pillows filled with
* Fir branches are used to make fire-by-friction because they
are very resinous and burn easily. Unfortunately, these qualities
make them especially susceptible to forest fires. In extreme
heat, the resin blisters under the bark and bursts into flame.
* The resin, after being heated, is used to make a sort of turpentine-like
* Ruffed, spruce, and sharptail grouse eat the buds and needles;
twigs are eaten by snowshoe hare, whitetail deer, and moose;
porcupines love the bark.