Kohout's Icebreaker Korean FirAbies koreana 'Kohout’s Icebreaker'
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Abies koreana 'Kohout’s Icebreaker'
Outdoor Growing zone
Full Sun, Partial Sun
Kohout’s Icebreaker Korean Fir is a unique and special dwarf evergreen, that grows into a dome-shape plant that will be 2 feet tall and 3 feet wide in about 10 years. The dense branches curve inwards, and so do the short needles, so that it is the silvery backs of them that we see. This gives the plant an incredibly intense silver look, more brilliant and sparking than any other evergreen. Grow it as a specimen in a small bed, or among other dwarf evergreens. Grow it along terrace walls, or use it in pots, planters and window boxes for year-round effect. In time it will become a remarkable specimen plant, and a real garden-party icebreaker.
Full sun or some partial shade are both fine for Kohout’s Icebreaker Korean Fir, and it will grow even in zone 4, with cold winter temperatures and snow. It does not grow so well in hot zones. Plant it in open, well-drained soil, avoiding clay and wet areas. In containers use a well-drained soil mix suitable for trees. This tree is normally free of pests or diseases, and it is easy to grow.
Among evergreens, the most popular are those that have blue or silver foliage, because they add a unique brightness to any garden. If you are among the people who admire these colors, you are going to fall head over heels in love with the most silver of them all – Kohout’s Icebreaker Korean Fir. This drop-dead beauty sparkles and shines like no other, with needles of the most stunning silver you have ever seen. The needles curve inwards, showing off the silver underside, which accounts for the brilliance of the look. The stems curve in too, making a neat and rounded dome, eventually growing into a low, dense tree of enormous beauty. If you love dwarf evergreens, you will simply adore this tree.
Kohout’s Icebreaker Korean Fir is a special form of the Korean fir tree, which grows into a dense, rounded ball of branches. When young it is globe shaped, and in time it will rise in the center to become a low, conical small tree. It grows slowly, adding between 1 and 3 inches of growth each year, so that in 10 years it will be about 2 feet tall and up to 3 feet wide. It will continue to grow throughout its life, adding between 1 and 1½ feet every 5 years. Eventually the center will grow taller, giving the tree a more conical form.
The small branches of this tree curve inwards, making a neat, dense ball. Each stem is covered in short needles, no more than ½ inch long, with a blue-green upper surface. This is not visible, because the needles curve upwards, and are slightly twisted, so that the underside of the needle is what you see. It has two broad bright silver stripes along it, and it is these that create the spectacular sparkling silver look of this unique plant. New shoots are an even lighter and brighter silver, maturing to rich silver-blue.
This gorgeous plant is perfect as an accent in a small bed, alone or in a group of three. It will bring a beautiful sparkle among green-leaf evergreens. Grow it on the levels of terraced walls, where its higher position will bring it closer in view. Plant it among a collection of other dwarf evergreens, to create a beautiful and low-maintenance bed that gets better and better as the plants mature. Use it also in a rock garden, to add structure, or grow it as a natural bonsai in a beautiful pot. It can also be grown in planter boxes and window boxes – however you choose to grow it you will love it.
Allow small, this plant is tough. It will grow best in cooler zones, and it is hardy in zone 4. It will also grow in warmer areas including zone 7, but if you live in zone 8 or 9, choose another dwarf plant, as this one will not grow so well for you.
Grow Kohout’s Icebreaker Korean Fir in full sun for the best color and development. However, unlike most other dwarf evergreens, this is one that will tolerate a little partial shade well. The soil should be well-drained, and heavy clay is not so suitable. You can amend the planting area with fine gravel if your soil is heavy, and with organic material. This tree does not grow so well in urban conditions, preferring fresh air.
Kohout’s Icebreaker Korean Fir is normally free of pests and diseases and it is very easy to grow. No trimming is needed, or desirable, and it best left to develop naturally into a mature and beautiful specimen.
The Korean fir, Abies koreana, is a forest tree from South Korea that will grow to about 60 feet tall, with an upright, symmetrical form. It is very cold resistant, and popular as a large tree in most cold countries around the world. In the 1970s Günter Horstmann, from Germany, developed a beautiful smaller form of this tree, which grows to about 12 feet tall, and has curved needles that show their silvery backs. It is called the Silver Curls Korean Fir, ‘Horstmann’s Silberlocke’. Jörg Kohout has a nursery in Elstra, Germany, and earlier this century he found a witch’s broom growing on a plant of the Silver Curls Korean Fir. These are unique structures that can develop on evergreens. They are usually tight clusters of short dense branches. If they are propagated, they often grow as dwarf plants. This was the original plant that became known as ‘Kohout’s Icebreaker’.
In 2012 the Royal Horticultural Society of Great Britain gave this plant its Award of Garden Merit. The American Conifer Society made it a Collectors’ Conifer of the Year in 2014. You can tell from this it is something very special, and very worthwhile. Our keen plant-collecting customers will quickly buy it, so order yours now, because they won’t be available for very long at all.