Fir Trees of Minnesota
Balsam Fir (Abies balsamea (L.) Mill.)
  Height: 40-60 ft
  Diameter: 1-1.5 ft
  Showy flower: no
  Fall colors: no-evergreen
  Drought tolerant: low
  Annual rainfall: 13-60
  Soil Needs: moist, rocky
  Frost Free Days: 80
  Minimum Temperature (F): -43
  Growth Rate: slow
  Longevity: 200 years
  State List: CT, IA, IN, MA, MD, ME
  MI, MN, NH, NY, OH, PA, RI, VA, VT
  WI, WV           
There are two varieties of
Abies balsamea, one being
typical of the species, var.
balsamea, and the other
being var. phanerolepis. For
this article, we will discuss
the species as a whole. 
A slow growing tree
species, the oldest
individual trees are typically
not more than 200 years
old.  Reaching 40 to 60 feet
in height and 1 to 1.5 feet in
diameter, a single trunk
supports whorled branches. 
The       ...more               
Photo Gallery
Foliage of abies balsamea consists of many short needles
Abies balsamea seeds are light brown and have one large wing
Abies balsamea is native to the northeastern 2/3rds with scattered smaller populations in the south east corner
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Land of 10,000 Lakes, 'Star of the North'
Home>Browse by State>Minnesota>Minnesota Native Pine Family Trees, Pinaceae>Fir Trees, Abies and Psuedotsuga
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The state distribution maps in the species info boxes below are from the USDA NRCS PLANTS Database at  In instances where state specific maps are unavailable, the US distribution map will be used in its place.  Also, the PLANTS Database website states "Our county data are based primarily on the literature, herbarium specimens, and confirmed observations.
However, not all populations have been documented, so some gaps in the distribution shown above may not be real. Remember that only native and naturalized populations are mapped!"
Also included in the Pine family, Pinaceae, are the genera Larix (Larch), Picea (Spruce), Pinus (Pine), and Tsuga (Hemlock).
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