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Identify the Firs

Trees in the Pine Family - Pinaceae


Balsam Fir

Balsam Fir

Virginia Tech, Used by Permission
Firs (Abies) are a genus of between 45-55 species of evergreen conifers in the family Pinaceae. Firs can be distinguished from other members of the pine family by their needle-like leaves, attached to the twig by a base that resembles a small suction cup; and by erect, cylindrical cones.

The wood of most firs is considered unsuitable for general timber use, and is often used as pulp or for the manufacture of plywood and rough timber. Noble Fir, Fraser Fir and Balsam Fir are very popular Christmas trees, generally considered to be the best trees for this purpose, with aromatic foliage that does not shed many needles on drying out. Many are also very decorative garden trees.

The Common North American Firs

Leaves: persistent or deciduous, linear or needle-like.

Fruit: Woody cones.

Other Conifers:
| baldcypress | cedar | Douglas-fir | hemlock | larch | pine | redwood | spruce |

ID Glossary

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