Welcome back to our Exotic Conifers blog series. So far, we’ve covered information about Trojan Fir, Turkish Fir, and Canaan Fir. In this blog, we’ll be reviewing the attributes, pros, and cons of the more unique exotic Fir, Korean Fir, also known as Abies koreana.
If you’re new to this blog series, let’s start with a quick run-down about exotic Firs. According to the MSU Extension, in the context of Christmas trees, the term “exotic” has morphed into meaning “less common or unusual.” However, as weather patterns become more unpredictable and extreme, growing “tried-and-true” tree species such as Balsam Fir, Douglas Fir, Blue Spruce, and Fraser Firs are becoming more difficult to cultivate successfully. That’s why many Christmas tree growers have been turning to plant varieties of exotic Firs as an alternative. In fact, in many cases, several exotic Firs have been proven to better resist certain diseases and insects, and are more hardy when it comes to changing weather patterns.
Now that you have a brief overview of exotic Firs, let’s dive into learning more about Korean Fir.
Attributes of Korean Fir
Korean Fir is often thought of as one of the more unique exotic Firs available. A lot of this has to do with its looks. Korean Firs have short but broad, shiny, lush green needle tops accompanied by a silver underside. They also have up to 3” long, vibrant purple cones that make them stand out. Their bark also plays a part in their uniqueness as the outer layer portrays a rich purple-gray color, while the inner bark is a distinct red. Overall, the Korean Fir can grow from 30-50 feet tall with a diameter of approximately 3-6 feet. Not only do they make for a great Christmas tree alternative, but they are also very suitable for landscaping as well.
Native to Jeju island and the Jirisan mountain range in South Korea, Korean Fir originally grows 3,200 to 6,000 feet above sea level in temperate rainforests according to the University of Minnesota. Now, growers are finding that Korean Fir is also well-suited for more cooler climates like the ones experienced in Michigan.
For more information about Korean Fir’s attributes, check out this short video produced by the MSU extension office featuring Dr. Bert Cregg.
Pros and Cons
When it comes to Korean Fir, there are several pros and cons that growers should be aware of. First, let’s start with the pros.
One of the pros of growing this Fir is that they are more heat tolerant than most firs. With that being said, they still prefer cooler locations and it is recommended to plant them in full sun to partial shade according to the North Carolina Extension.
Another pro of growing Korean Fir that the North Carolina Extension mentions is that they have a shallow root system. This makes the trees and seedlings easy to transplant in the future.
Korean Fir can also better handle poor soil drainage unlike some of the more “tried-and-true” firs that were mentioned at the beginning of this blog. However, it is still recommended that wet and heavy clay soils are avoided if possible.
And finally, insects like Balsam Woolly Adelgids, Bark Beetles, Spruce Budworms, and Aphids, seem to be less of an impact on Korean Fir according to the Missouri Botanical Gardens.
However, there are also some cons to be aware of. Although it is mainly unaffected by a large number of insects, the Missouri Botanical Gardens still warns that spider mites may occur depending on your location and/or if you plant Korean Fir in a hot climate. They also explain that diseases including Phytophthora Root Rot, Needle Rust, and Twig Blight have the potential of occurring in Korean Fir as well.
Another challenge of growing Korean Fir is that they may not always keep a straight, single leader when growing. If the tree is not watched or maintained carefully, this could cause the tree to grow in an unwanted direction.
Despite these cons, it is still a beautiful and strong exotic Fir.
Consider Growing Korean Fir
If you’re looking to expand your conifer selection, consider growing Korean Fir. Exotic Firs like this one allows your business to provide customers a wider range of choices, and in some cases, adapt better in certain climates and circumstances.
If you’d like to grow Korean Fir in your business, click here to order off of our eCommerce store. Otherwise, if you have questions about Korean Fir, feel free to send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call at (800) 888-7337.
Looking for other ways to grow your business faster with exotic Firs? Check out the rest of our exotic Fir series by clicking the links below.