Genus Abies, Link. (Fir)
Leaves - Simple; indeterminate in position because of their closeness; arranged singly up and down the branchlets, at first radiating about equally on every side, afterward flattened into two ranks, as in the Hemlock. Leaf - one half to one inch long, narrow; apex blunt or notched; edge entire; flat, with a grooved line above and a corresponding raised line below; bright green above; silvery white below. Bark - smooth and unbroken (especially when young), and usually covered with "blisters." Cones - two to four inches long, one inch broad, erect, at the sides of the branchlets; violet-colored. Scales - thin and flat, broad and rounded. The thin bracts between the scales are tipped with a slender bristle. The cone falls apart when ripe. Found - from the far North through the Northern States to Pennsylvania, and along the Alleghany Mountains to the high peaks of West Virginia. Common northward in damp forests. General Information - A slender, evergreen tree, twenty to sixty feet high; pyramid-shaped, with regular horizontal branches; its wood is very light and soft. From the "blisters," which form under the bark of the trunk and branches, the valuable Canada balsam is obtained. The tree is short-lived, and therefore of less value in cultivation.