Balsam fir is a North American fir, native to most of eastern and central Canada (Newfoundland west to central British Columbia) and the northeastern United States (Minnesota east to Maine, and south in the Appalachian Mountains to West Virginia). It is known as Canada balsam and white fir.
The tree is very popular for use as a Christmas tree, particularly in the northeastern United States.
The resin is used to produce oil, and was traditionally used as a cold remedy and as a glue for glasses, optical instrument components, and for preparing permanent mounts of microscope specimens. The wood is milled for framing lumber, siding and pulped for paper manufacture.
Balsam essential oil is extracted from fir needles and twigs through steam distillation. Balsam fir oil is an EPA approved nontoxic rodent repellent. The balsam fir is also used as an air freshener and as incense. Balsam fir essential oil opens breathing, invigorates and lifts the spirit.