In the chair which stood before the writing-table in the middle of the room sat the figure of Lord Clarenceux. The figure did not move as I went in; its back was towards me. At the other end of the room was the doorway, which led to the sm... Read more of The Ghost Of Lord Clarenceux at Scary Stories.caInformational Site Network Informational
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Fir Balsam Balsam Fir

=Habitat and Range.=--Rich, damp, cool woods, deep swamps, mountain


Labrador, Newfoundland, and Nova Scotia, northwest to the Great

Bear Lake region.

Maine,--very generally distributed, ordinarily associated with white

pine, black spruce, red spruce, and a few deciduous trees, growing at an

altitude of 4500 feet upon Katahdin; New Hampshire,--common in upper

Coos county and in the White mountains, where it climbs up to the alpine

area; in the southern part of the state, in the extensive swamps

around the sources of the Contoocook and Miller's rivers, it is the

prevailing timber; Vermont,--common; not rare on mountain slopes and

even summits; Massachusetts,--not uncommon on mountain slopes in the

northwestern and central portions of the state, ranging above the red

spruces upon Graylock; a few trees here and there in damp woods or cold

swamps in the southern and eastern sections, where it has probably been

accidentally introduced; Rhode Island and Connecticut,--not reported.

South to Pennsylvania and along high mountains to Virginia; west to


=Habit.=--A slender, handsome tree, the most symmetrical of the New

England spruces, with a height of 25-60 feet, and a diameter of 1-2 feet

at the ground, reduced to a shrub at high altitudes; branches in young

trees usually in whorls; branchlets mostly opposite. The branches go out

from the trunk at an angle varying to a marked degree even in trees of

about the same size and apparent age; in some trees declined near the

base, horizontal midway, ascending near the top; in others horizontal or

ascending throughout; in others declining throughout like those of the

Norway spruce; all these forms growing apparently under precisely the

same conditions; head widest at the base and tapering regularly upward;

foliage dark bright green; cones erect and conspicuous.

=Bark.=--Bark of trunk in old trees a variegated ashen gray, appearing

smooth at a short distance, but often beset with fine scales, with one

edge scarcely revolute, giving a ripply aspect; branches and young trees

mottled or striate, greenish-brown and very smooth; branchlets from

which the leaves have fallen marked with nearly circular leaf-scars;

season's shoots pubescent; bark of trunk in all trees except the oldest

with numerous blisters, containing the Canada balsam of commerce.

=Winter Buds and Leaves.=--Buds small, roundish, resinous, grouped on

the leading shoots. Leaves scattered, spirally arranged in rows, at

right angles to twig, or disposed in two ranks like the hemlock; 1/2-1

inch long, dark glossy green on the upper surface, beneath silvery

bluish-white, and traversed lengthwise by rows of minute dots, flat,

narrowly linear; apex blunt, in young trees and upon vigorous shoots,

often slightly but distinctly notched, or sometimes upon upper branches

with a sharp, rigid point; sessile; aromatic.

=Inflorescence.=--Early spring. Lateral or terminal on shoots of the

preceding season; sterile flowers oblong-cylindrical, 1/4 inch in

length; anthers yellow, red-tinged: fertile flowers on the upper side of

the twig, erect, cylindrical; cover-scales broad, much larger than the

purple ovuliferous scales, terminating in a long, recurved tip.

=Fruit.=--Cones along the upper side of the branchlets, erect or nearly

so in all stages of growth, purplish when young, 3-5 inches long, 1 inch

or more wide; puberulous; cover-scales at maturity much smaller than

ovuliferous scales, thin, obovate, serrulate, bristle-pointed;

ovuliferous scales thin, broad, rounded; edge minutely erose, serrulate

or entire; both kinds of scales falling from the axis at maturity; seeds

winged, purplish.

=Horticultural Value.=--Hardy in New England, but best adapted to the

northern sections; grows rapidly in open or shaded situations,

especially where there is cool, moist, rich soil; easily transplanted;

suitable for immediate effects in forest plantations, but not desirable

for a permanent ornamental tree, as it loses the lower branches at an

early period. Nurserymen and collectors offer it in quantity at a low

price. Propagated from seed.

1. Branch with flower-buds.

2. Branch with sterile flowers.

3. Branch with fertile flowers.

4. Cover-scale and ovuliferous scale with ovules, inner side.

5. Fruiting branch.

6. Ovuliferous scales with ovules at maturity, inner side.

7. Cone-scale and ovuliferous scale at maturity, outer side.

8-9. Leaves.

10-11. Cross-sections of leaves.

=Thuja occidentalis, L.=

Next: Arbor-vitae White Cedar Cedar

Previous: Hemlock

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