’Tis the season for balsam fir, the fragrant evergreen that adorns our homes through the winter holidays. Its scent and long lasting needle retention make this the most popular Christmas tree and wreath species. Balsam fir is also an important timber species used for lumber. Native to North America, balsam fir (Abies balsamea) grows throughout the more northern latitudes and highest elevations of the country, including in the Northeast.
However, researchers predict a northward shift of balsam fir in an increasingly warming climate. Warmer temperatures are also contributing to a rise in populations of an exotic invasive pest – balsam woolly adelgid (Adelges piceae) – which feeds on fir trees, affecting their health and viability as lumber and Christmas trees. [Read more…] about Balsam Woolly Adelgid: A Foe to Firs