This tree loves the cold. It does well only where winters are cold and the summers cool. It is naturally cone shaped , with soft needles that are rich green on top and silvery white underneath. They have good needle retention and a rich fragrance. Many folks consider a balsam fir as the only true Christmas tree. Balsam grows best on soils that are not too acidic, and it even does well on soils that are fairly moist. Balsam trees have been known to frequent paper mills from time to time but aren't regulars at it like the white spruce. The balsams also aren't the type to wander into saw mills like their rowdy conifer cousins the pines and spuces.