A majestic tree with symmetrical outline and a narrow pyramidal crown of slender horizontal branches that gradually ascend into an upper spire-like portion. The trunk is covered with a smooth, grayish bark that frequently is dotted with resin blisters when the tree is young, with the mature bark broken into irregular scales that resembles spruce bark. The branches are adorned with flat, dark evergreen needles that are extremely aromatic. The root system is shallow and the tree tends to be less wind firm than other varieties of conifers. The balsam fir used to be the standard Christmas tree.
Balsam Fir is typically planted as a specimen tree or shelter belt tree upwind of the house and patio. The wind blowing through the needles bath the entire yard with a wonderfully distinct "Christmas" fragrance year round.