Retrieved 8 March 2015. 2022. Flora of North America. The leaves and young shoots are best harvested in the spring and dried for later use. New York Natural Heritage Program. National Audubon Society. Moose eat the vegetation extensively in the winter. These start out a beautiful purple color and mature into a gray-brown tone. The tree is sometimes grown and used as a 'Christmas tree'. Retrieved 29 March 2022. You can unsubscribe at anytime. Alexander C. Martin, Herbert S. Zim, and Arnold L. Nelson. It is used as a healing and analgesic protective covering for burns, bruises, wounds and sores[213, 222, 226]. 2022. New York Flora Association. New York Natural Heritage Program. The needles are flat, about inch long, and dark green in color. Overall, Balsam Fir is very similar to spruce trees but has flat needles where spruce are 4-sided in cross-section, and cones are of course distinctive for each of these species. If available other names are mentioned here, Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available. Retrieved 8 March 2015. 87-90. See the glossary for icon descriptions. Retrieved 8 March 2015. One report says that it is best to grow the seedlings on in the shade at a density of about 550 plants per square metre whilst another report says that they are best grown on in a sunny position. This plant was widely used medicinally by various North American Indian tribes. A Field Guide to Eastern Forests. New York Natural Heritage Program. Chemicals in the needles give this tree a unique defense against insect feeders, as they mimic a growth hormone that interferes with normal insect metamorphosis. Images. Female strobili are borne on the upper most branches on previous season's branch twigs, upright and cylindrical oblong, 1 to 3 inches long, very resinous with fan-shaped scales. Keep the new tree in a protected area for around one year, then acclimate it to full sun the following season. The cones are purplish in color and stand erect on branches. This plant was widely used medicinally by various North American Indian tribes. An oleoresin from the pitch is used as a flavouring in sweets, baked goods, ice cream and drinks. Type a value in the Celsius field to convert the value to Fahrenheit: Plants For A Future have a number of books available in paperback and digital form. Scales do not open up like many conifers but start to shed from the base of the cone on up, releasing seed as the scales fall away. Balsam Fir. Abies balsamea. Learn tips for creating your most beautiful (and bountiful) garden ever. Online Conservation Guide for Northern White Cedar Swamp. Balsam fir is used in the US for timber and plywood, and is the mainstay of the pulp wood industry in the Northeast. Keep the soil moist. It focuses on the attributes of plants suitable for food forests, what each can contribute to a food forest ecosystem, including carbon sequestration, and the kinds of foods they yield. Retrieved 8 March 2015. IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status : Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). On branches higher on the tree or those exposed to direct sunlight, the needles project in all directions like spruce needles. It says here that the only edible part of the Balsam fir is the inner bark. The wood, which is rich in pitch, burns well and can be used as a kindling. These are signs of heart rot, which is a form of fungus that attacks the innermost wood of the tree. Female strobili may be wholly or partially aborted up to 6 to 8 weeks after bud burst by late spring frosts. Web design and content copyright 2006-2022 MinnesotaWildflowers.info. They do not need fertilizer more than once a year and mature trees do not require fertilizer at all. Yes, balsam fir trees have an unmistakable evergreen, spicy aroma. by: Dr. Jeff Kirwan, Dr. John R. Seiler, John A. Peterson, Edward C. Jensen, Abies balsamea(L.) Mill. John Eastman. 2022. Our new book to be released soon is Edible Shrubs. It grows best in the Perthshire valleys of Scotland[11, 185]. Toxic Plants (by Scientific Name).Ucanr.Edu, https://ucanr.edu/sites/poisonous_safe_plants/Toxic_Plants_by_Scientific_Name_685/. Another report says that the balsam or pitch, in extreme emergency, forms a highly concentrated, though disagreeable, food. They respond well to well-balanced fertilizer.
Black-backed Woodpecker,Boreal Owl,Downy Woodpecker,Yellow-rumped Warbler,Veery,Cape May Warbler,Evening Grosbeak,Boreal Chickadee,Mourning Warbler,Bay-breasted Warbler,Nashville Warbler,Blackpoll Warbler,Golden-crowned Kinglet,Brown Creeper,White-throated Sparrow,Bicknell's Thrush, andRose-breasted Grosbeak. 42, 88-90. Pruning is not often needed except to remove damaged or dead branches. Balsam fir trees enjoy cool weather and do not handle heat and humidity well. Balsam bark is another key identifier, since it features many resin blisters which emit a spicy-scented resin. Balsam Firs have shallow roots and have been known to blow over easily. They produce 2 to 4 inch long cones that stand straight up from the foliage. Silver Fir, Christmas Tree Fir, European Silver Fir, Silver, She Balsam, Fraser fir, Southern Balsam Fir, Caucasian Fir, Christmas Tree Fir, Nordmann. Northern Forest Atlas. A thread can be made from the roots. Canada Balsam yields 15 - 25% volatile oil, the resin being used for caulking and incense. Needles are arranged in a spiral around the twig but those on top and underneath the twig twist so that needles appear to be mostly lateral, giving the branch a flattened appearance. Another report says that it is a turpentine. Landscape Uses:Christmas tree, Screen, Specimen. Your Name:
Many cuttings end up dying. It is the provincial tree of New Brunswick. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.AnalgesicAntiscorbuticAntisepticDiureticPoulticeStimulantTonicVDThe resin obtained from the balsam fir (see 'Uses notes' below) has been used throughout the world and is a very effective antiseptic and healing agent. If you have important information about this plant that may help other users please add a comment or link below. A warm liquid of the gummy sap was drunk as a treatment for gonorrhoea. Plants are strongly outbreeding, self-fertilized seed usually grows poorly.
Prefers growing on a north-facing slope. If you have questions about a plant please use the Forum on this website as we do not have the resources to answer questions ourselves.
While perhaps the quintessential Christmas tree, they are an important source of winter deer browse as well as pulp timber. Funding provided in part by the Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund as recommended by the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources. The cutting should root in about a month. Intolerant of atmospheric pollution. The Sibley Guide to Trees(New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2009), pp.52-53. Retrieved 8 November 2019. Keys to identifying the Balsam Fir and differentiating it from other coniferous trees include its needles, bark, and habitat. This species is a member of the pine family. Paul.. Abies: ancient name - rising or tall tree, name for the European fir /
Read our, Weakened Structure and the Presence of Mushrooms. Retrieved 29 March 2022. Characteristic birds found in this habitat include the.
If the needles of a balsam fir begin yellowing and the tree is not growing as it usually does, this can be a sign of root rot. Balsam fir trees require sandy, loamy, acidic soil to thrive. Bruce Kershner, et al. The foliage has also induced contact dermatitis. They will reach their mature size anywhere from 15 to 30 years. Because of its shade tolerance, advanced regeneration is often in great abundance in the understory. Moist, but well-draining soil conditions are key to a healthy balsam fir tree. Differentiating Balsam Fir fromEastern Hemlockis somewhat trickier. Balsam Fir. Within its range it may also be referred to as Balsam, Canadian Balsam, Canada Balsam, Eastern Fir, and Bracted Balsam Fir. Germination is often poor, usually taking about 6 - 8 weeks. This tree has an overall conical shape. New growth takes place from late May to the end of July.
Trees often self-layer in the wild, so this might be a means of increasing named varieties in cultivation[K]. Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants.
Black bears strip off the bark and lick the exposed tissue. Winter Deer Foods. Be sure not to damage the branch collar. Comment (max 1000 characters): Note: Comments or information about plants outside of Minnesota and neighboring states may not be posted because Id like to keep the focus of this web site centered on Minnesota. Michael Kudish. Balsam fir is a small to medium sized tree reaching 80 feet tall with a very narrow, spire-like crown. This may occur from the fungus entering into a wound on the tree or from the tree weakening because of less than ideal conditions. The Balsam Fir is conical, with ascending branches, while the Eastern Hemlock has a loose, feathery silhouette. A Field Guide to Trees and Shrubs(Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1958,1972), pp. The upright cones start out purple and mature into a gray-brown color. These trees do not handle clay soils well. A shallow-rooted plant, making it vulnerable to high winds. However, too much fertilizer can cause damage to these trees. Pollen dispersal can be reduced by adverse weather. University of Michigan. Both male and female cones occur on the top branches of the tree. It has been used for paneling, crates, barrels, and plywood, and other products not requiring high structural strength. C. Frank Brockman. Online Conservation Guide for Spruce-Fir Rocky Summit. They do not require much care other than the occasional watering. They thrive in USDA hardiness zones 3 to 5. Seed - sow early February in a greenhouse or outdoors in March. Place the plastic bag over the cutting, securing it to the pot with the rubber band. Balsam fir is very shade tolerant and is regenerated by shelterwood and group selection methods. Balsam Fir prefers moist soils, but is also tolerant of wet conditions. The Balsam Fir is moderately important to wildlife. Leaves are needle-like, single, flattened, 3/8 to about 1 inch long, dark green on the upper surface, the lower surface whitish with a green midvein and appearing striped. George A. Petrides. Help support this site ~ Information for sponsor opportunities.
Prefers a good moist but not water-logged soil. More >>>. Low swampy grounds where it is often the major component of forests. New York State. Online Conservation Guide for Black Spruce-Tamarack Bog. Bury the cut end several inches into the moist potting soil, then gently press the soil around the cutting. Field Guide to the Trees of North America(Washington, D.C., National Geographic, 2006), p. 57. Abies balsamea.
Balsam fir trees are known for their blue-green foliage, evergreen aroma, and the balsam blisters that appear on their bark. Newly started trees prefer sheltered areas for the first year of growth. The Balsam Fir features aromatic foliage and a narrow, pointed, spire-like crown. New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. Balsam Fir can naturally be found growing in conifer forests, mixed wood forests, and swamps. Balsam Firs produce sticky, dark, upright and erect cones which shed seeds during the fall, while cone structures remain on the tree. The Balsam Fir is a medium-sized coniferous tree, which can reach heights of 10-25 m. Balsam Fir may also be referred to as Canada Balsam, Eastern Fir, or Bracted Balsam Fir. Have you seen this plant in Minnesota, or have any other comments about it? Its bark is thin, gray and smooth, with many resin blisters. The seed remains viable for up to 5 years if it is well stored. National Wildlife Federation Field Guide to Trees of North America(New York: Sterling Publishing Co., 2008), p. 108, 111. 2-5, Preliminary List of Species Native Within the Adirondack Park Listed Alphabetically by Scientific Name and Sorted by Habit, Lake Colby Railroad Tracks (Saranac Lake), Jackrabbit Trail at River Road (Lake Placid), White-tailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianus), List of Adirondack Amphibians and Reptiles, Balsam Fir trees are easily distinguished from, Balsam Fir needles can also be differentiated from those of the, The arrangement of Balsam Fir needles also contrasts with that of, Balsam Fir is also easy to distinguish from. Weighs 24lb per cubic foot. Twigs are mostly opposite, short-hairy, tan to greenish. Attracts mice, voles, red squirrels, birds, deer, moose, black bear. Established balsam fir trees only require supplemental water during prolonged droughts. Retrieved 8 March 2015. Trees are then allowed to recuperate for 1 - 2 years before being harvested again. Trunks are up to 18 inches in diameter, with thin, gray bark, smooth but with many resin-filled blisters. For young trees, water weekly until established.
Online Encyclopedia of Life. Water
It is also used to treat sore nipples and is said to be one of the best curatives for a sore throat. In the United States, the range of the Balsam Fir extends from extreme northern Minnesota west of Lake-of-the-Woods southeast to Iowa; east to central Wisconsin and central Michigan into New York and central Pennsylvania; then northeastward from Connecticut to the other New England States. The wood is commercially valuable for timber even though it is relatively soft, weak, and perishable. The resin was formerly used in medicine, optics, and microscopy, but has now largely been replaced by synthetics. A Database of Foods, Drugs, Dyes and Fibers of Native American Peoples, Derived from Plants. Online Conservation Guide for Alpine Krummholz. E. H. Ketchledge. The leaves are strongly aromatic of balsam when crushed. Balsam fir trees are rather hardy and do not often struggle with many problems. Edible Parts: Inner barkShootsEdible Uses: CondimentGumTeaInner bark - cooked. North-eastern N. America - Newfoundland to Virginia, west to Alberta, Michigan and Ohio. However, in my research and studies I've found that the leaves are an excellent hiking snack and the sap is useful as gum or to drink. They hybridize freely with other members of this genus. The under side of the needle is pale with a few white lines. A tea made from the leaves is antiscorbutic[4, 171].
Once the seedling is several inches tall, replant to a larger pot and keep them in a shaded, protected area for one year. (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1980), Plates 22, 480, pp. Fifteen year old trees yield 70% more leaf oil than 110-year-old trees; oil yields are highest in January - March and September, they are lowest from April to August. If you value what we do please give what you can to support our work. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Trees of Wisconsin. For a list of references used on this page please go here. University of California Agriculture, and Natural Resources. Abies balsamea. Right plant wrong place. The balsam fir is a fast-growing tree in its native environment, but it is fairly short-lived and slow growing in Britain, becoming ungainly after about 20 years[11, 64, 81]. Native Plant Database. For instance, after the Great Blowdown of 1950, Balsam Fir quickly seeded in the damaged areas and grew vigorously. Stored seeds should be moist stratified 14 - 28 days at 1 - 5C, though fresh seed may be sown in autumn without stratification, with target seedling densities in the nursery ca 450 - 500/m2, often mulched with sawdust. 2022 The Natural Edge 2022 Watersheds Canada. The resin is also antiscorbutic, diaphoretic, diuretic, stimulant and tonic[4, 171, 222]. This species produces needles which are alternate, flat and narrow. Only comments or links that are felt to be directly relevant to a plant will be included. Subscription Web Site. The resin has been used for medicine, turpentine, glue, and varnish. The leaves and young branches are used as a stuffing material for pillows etc - they impart a pleasant scent[46, 61, 257] and also repel moths. Thanks for your understanding. Online Conservation Guide for Pine-Northern Hardwood Forest. The evergreen foliage of young trees is useful to mammals and game birds for cover, especially in winter. This tree is used primarily for pulp and light frame construction. Open the bag daily to allow it to receive fresh air and to check the soil. It was once used as the primary medium for mounting microscope slides. Trees of Pennsylvania and the Northeast(Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania: Stackpole Books, 2002), pp.
The growth habits of the two species are different. New York Natural Heritage Program. By clicking Accept All Cookies, you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyze site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts. The winged seeds are eaten from the cones by at least eight species of songbirds (such as crossbills). It had enough roots still underground that it remains green, although on the ground. These aromatic trees are best planted in the spring or fall when bought as bare roots plants. ReferencesCarbon Farming Information andCarbon Sequestration Information. An aromatic resinous pitch is found in blisters in the bark. 62-67, 88-90, 122-123. Another problem that may come up with balsam fir trees is the growth of mushrooms out of their trunks or branches and a weakened structure that may break easily. The buds, resin, and/or sap are used in folk remedies for treating cancers, corns, and warts. New York Natural Heritage Program. Field Guide to North American Trees. Retrieved 5 March 2017. A Field Guide to Eastern Trees(Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1998), pp. It is used in the treatment of coughs, colds and fevers. "Turpentine" is usually collected during July-August by breaking the turpentine blisters into small metal cans with sharp-pointed lids. During the following year, acclimate the seedling to full sunshine and plant it in your location of choice. Tips of young shoots are used as a tea substitute[177, 183]. This species of tree is conical in shape, with resin blisters on older trunks. New York Natural Heritage Program. Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Male and female flowers are cone like structures called strobili, both borne on separate branches of the same tree. Online Conservation Guide for Balsam Flats. United States Department of Agriculture. Native American tribes made extensive use of Balsam Fir to treat a wide variety of ailments, including heart disease, colds, kidney pains, sore throat, rheumatic joints, headache, coughs, boils, bruises, sprains, and colic.