The balsam fir (Abies balsamea) is a medium-sized tree, 50 to 60 feet in height. It is native to northeast Iowa where it grows on moist slopes.
Habitat: Grows on steep north facing slopes. Found in northeast Iowa.
Hardiness: Zones 3 through 6
Growth Rate: Slow
Mature Shape: Densely pyramidal
Height: 40-70 feet
Width: 15-20 feet
Site Requirements: Plant trees in sun to light shade with moist, well-drained soils. Protect trees from drying winds. Balsam firs do not tolerate heat well.
Leaves: Blunt needles
Flowering Dates: May
Seed Dispersal Dates: October
Seed Bearing Age: 15 Years
Seed Bearing Frequency: Every 3-5 years
Seed Stratification: One month at 34°F to 40°F
The leaves are blunt needles 3/4 to 1-1/2 inches long, dark green on the upper surface to silvery white on the lower surface and spreading at nearly right angles to the branch. The fruit is an oblong, cylindrical cone 2 to 4 inches long, purplish in color and growing upright on the upper branches. When ripe, the cone breaks up into pieces, so one never finds a mature cone on the ground. The brown bark breaks into small plates covered with scales. The young bark is often covered with pitch blister, hence the name "balsam."
Diseases that Can Affect Balsam Fir
Insects that Can Affect Balsam Fir