This 8 to 24 m tall tree has a narrow crown and large, ascending branches. Its roots are shallow. Its bark is smooth and greenish-brown when young, becoming greyish with irregular furrows and rough, flat-topped ridges. Its long, pointed buds are resinous and very fragrant. Its 6 to 15 cm long leaves are alternate, simple, oval and tapering. They have many fine, rounded teeth that turn inward at their tips. The upper surface of the leaf is shiny dark green, and the underside is pale green with brownish resin blotches. The leaves are aromatic. The flowers form pendulous catkins. Its fruit are hairless, ovoid capsules that split in two when mature. They are arranged in a catkin on a flexible stem.