Gardening

Korean Fir, Or Abies Koreana Silberlocke: Amazing Yearlong Color

Korean Fir, Or Abies Koreana Silberlocke: Amazing Yearlong Color

Abies Koreana SilberlockeKorean fir, or more precisely Abies koreana ‘Horstmann Silberlocke’, is a beautiful, dense, multi-stemmed evergreen shrub with a distinctive and refined pyramidal form.  It appeals to gardeners seeking a compact, very slow-growing evergreen species for use in large gardens or in the landscape. Most of the Korean Fir varieties grow best in cooler climates, however, cultivars such as “Aurea” and “Horstmann’s Silberlocke” will withstand warmer temperatures up to hardiness zone 8 with minimal problems.

This is a very beautiful tree when mature; the most notable characteristic has to be its violet to purple, or almost blue cones. The cones reach a length of 2 inches to 3 inches and a width of 1 inch.  They begin to appear once the trees reach an average size of 3 to 5 feet tall.  Korean Fir is slow to moderate in growth rate (2 to 4 feet per year), and has a very compact, dense habit.

Needles are a nice bright green with a bright white underside – truly striking no matter how you look at it.  Needles are held in whorls which displays the colors prominently. This is a wonderfully showy garden accent.

How To Make Your Abies Koreana Silberlocke Thrive

This shrub does best in full sun to partial shade. It requires an evenly moist well-drained soil for optimal growth. It is not particular as to soil pH, but grows best in sandy soils. It is quite intolerant of urban pollution, therefore inner city or urban streetside plantings are best avoided, and will benefit from being planted in a relatively sheltered location. Consider applying a thick mulch around the root zone in winter to protect it in exposed locations or colder zones. This is a relatively low maintenance shrub, and should not require much pruning, except when necessary, such as to remove dieback.

General Abies Koreana Silberlocke Information

Diseases And Pests

No serious insect or disease problems. If this plant is stressed you may see Balsam woolly adelgids, bark beetles, spruce budworms, aphids, bagworms and scale. Spider mites may occur in hot conditions. Diseases can include cankers, heart rot, root rot, needle rust and twig blight.  If urban pollution is severe this will be a problem.

Garden Uses

Excellent specimen fir for the landscape, or ornamental yard tree.

Quick Facts

  • Key feature: Year-round Interest
  • Plant Type: Conifer
  • Deciduous/Evergreen: Evergreen
  • Hardiness Zones: Zones 5 to 8
  • Light Requirements: Full sun
  • Water Needs: Needs regular watering – weekly, or more often in extreme heat.
  • Average Landscape Size: Slow growing to 10 ft. tall, 6 ft. wide in 10 years, ultimately 20 ft. tall.
  • Growth Habit: Pyramidal
  • Growth Rate: Slow to moderate ( 2 feet to 4 feet per year )
  • Soil Preference: Average to slightly acidic – well drained; likes soil with organic content

Picture Search

Google  – Abies Koreana Silberlocke Photos

Flicker  – Abies Koreana ‘Horstmann Photos

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4 Comments

  1. Looks like a beautiful tree, but probably wouldn’t like our hot and humid summers.

  2. I live in Buffalo, NY. Is the below 0 weather the reason my korean silberlocke is looking like a skeleton. I’ve had it 15 years . Will it die ?

    • You should be able to get down to 10 to 20 below zero and still be ok; this is a really tough tree. If you are loosing needles it may come back, if the needles are brown you may be in a bad spot. It will be interesting to to see what it looks like in another month. Part of the problem with global warming is the combination of temperatures swings in combination with swings in moisture which affects how a tree makes it through the winter.
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