Balsam fir is very cold hardy, but does not do well in hot, humid summers. It prefers an acid, well drained soil, but can tolerate sites that are more consistently moist. Does poorly on dry exposed sites. Full sun to full shade.
Balsam fir is a small to medium-size evergreen tree typically 14–20 metres (46–66 ft) tall, occasionally reaching a height of 27 metres (89 ft). Both varieties of the species are very popular as Christmas trees, particularly in the northeastern United States. Balsam firs cut for Christmas are not taken from the forest, but are grown on large plantations. Abies balsamea is also grown as an ornamental tree for parks and gardens. Very hardy down to −20 °C (−4 °F) or below, it requires a sheltered spot in full sun.