‘Silberlocke' fir shimmers

This handsome conifer has a neat pyramidal shape and is relatively slow growing, taking more than 20 years to reach 20 feet tall. (Regular Korean fir has flat, deep green needles and eventually grows up to 60 feet tall.)

This cultivar was selected for its unique foliage: Rather than growing flat, the needles curl upward, making its branchlets look cylindrical. This exposes the silvery undersides of the dark green needles, providing a shimmery, two-toned effect.

Another ornamental feature is its dramatic blue-purple cones, which sit upright like candles on the branches. Beautiful during any season, 'Silberlocke' is sure to draw admiring glances to your landscape.

Common name: 'Silberlocke' Korean fir
Botanical name: Abies koreana 'Silberlocke' (syn. A. koreana 'Horstmann's Silberlocke')
Plant type: Evergreen conifer
Zones: 5 to 7
Height: 20 to 30 feet
Family: Pinaceae

Growing conditions
Sun: Full sun or partial shade
Soil: Loam or sandy loam with additional organic matter
Moisture: Evenly moist, but well-drained

Mulch: 2 to 3 inches of wood chips or other organic mulch
Pruning: Rarely needed, except to remove damaged branches
• Fertilizer: Apply compost or diluted soluble fertilizer as needed.

• Grafting

Pests and diseases
• No major problems

Garden notes
• Plant 'Silberlocke' Korean fir where you'll see it all year. With its unique and beautiful foliage, it shines as a specimen tree.
• Though slow growing, it's not a dwarf, so give it enough room to mature.
• Combine it with shrubs or small trees with colorful fruit (such as hollies, viburnums, crabapples and hawthorns) for excellent winter appeal.

All in the family
• 'Silberlocke' Korean fir is a member of the pine family (Pinaceae), which contains many important landscape and timber trees including pines, spruces and firs.
• There are about 50 species of fir (Abies). They include some of the most beautiful conifers for landscape use, though most don't grow well in warmer parts of the country.

Where to buy
• Conifer Kingdom, coniferkingdom.com
• Forestfarm, forestfarm.com
• Greer Gardens, greergardens.com

Photos courtesy of Conifer Kingdom