Abies balsamea, Balsam Fir

Tips for identifying firs: linear needles, flat in cross-section (in contrast to angular spruce), twigs smooth, leaf scars more or less circular, cones upright with scales that fall off at maturity

Size: tree, 45-75' average height at maturity

Buds: resinous, small, ovoid, brown

Leaves: evergreen, spirally arranged around twig, often roughly in 2 ranks, .63-1" long, linear, tip slightly notched, shiny dark green, 2 gray bands of stomata on underside

Twigs: smooth

Flowers: monoecious, males yellow and resemble catkins, females ovoid or oblong

Fruit: dark violet cone, 2-4", gray-brown and resinous when mature

Bark: dull green when young, later developing grayish areas, small red-brown scaly plates on older trees