Balsam-Fir





One of the most important trees for the trailer to know is the

balsam-fir, for of this the best of outdoor beds are made. In shape the

tree is like our Christmas-trees--in fact, many Christmas-trees are

balsam-fir.



The sweet, aromatic perfume of the balsam needles is a great aid in

identifying it. The branches are flat and the needles appear to grow

from the sides of the stem. The little twist at the base of the needle

causes it to seem to grow merely in the straight, outstanding row on

each side of the stem; look closely and you will see the twist.



The needles are flat and short, hardly one inch in length; they are

grooved along the top and the ends are decidedly blunt; in color they

are dark bluish-green on the upper side and silvery-white underneath.

The bark is gray, and you will find little gummy blisters on the

tree-trunk. From these the healing Canada balsam is obtained. The short

cones, often not over two inches in length, the longest seldom more than

four inches, stand erect on top of the small branches, and when young

are of a purplish color.



From Maine to Minnesota the balsam-fir grows in damp woods and mountain

bogs, and you will find it southward along the Alleghany Mountains from

Pennsylvania to North Carolina.





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