Firs, True (Eastern Species) (Abies balsamea)

Firs, True (Eastern Species) is a domestic softwood


Balsam fir (Abies balsamea) grows principally in New England, New York, Pennsylvania, and the Great Lake States. Fraser fir (A. fraseri) grows in the Appalachian Mountains of Virginia, North Carolina, and Tennessee.


The wood of the eastern true firs, as well as the western true firs, is creamy white to pale brown. The heartwood and sapwood are generally indistinguishable. The similarity of wood structure in the true firs makes it impossible to distinguish the species by examination of the wood alone. Balsam and Fraser firs are lightweight, have low bending and compressive strength, are moderately low in stiffness, are soft, and have low resistance to shock.

Primary Uses

The eastern firs are used mainly for pulpwood, although some lumber is produced for structural products, especially in New England and the Great Lake States.

*Much of the base wood information presented here is made available by the USDA FPL FS. If you are interested in a much more technical description of wood properties, I encourage you to visit the source.