Abies koreana 'Kohouts Icebreaker' / Kohout's Icebreaker Korean fir

Abies koreana 'Kohouts Icebreaker' is a very fine, relatively new dwarf cultivar of Korean fir. Like it's parent plant, 'Horstmann's Silberlocke,' 'Kohouts Icebreaker' has the same strongly-curled needles showing off the silvery undersides that make the species distinctive. Branches are short, stubby and radial. Young plants will be globose, later developing a leader, eventually becoming a small squat tree. Typical rate of growth in most areas is 1 to 3 inches (2.5 - 7.5 cm) per year, resulting in a shimmering silvery specimen, 2 feet (60 cm) tall and wide after 10 years in the garden.

Jörg Kohout of Elstra, Germany is credited with the origin and introduction of this cultivar. Icebreaker's ortet was a witch's broom that Jörg found on a specimen of Abies koreana 'Horstmann's Silberlocke' at his nursery. A distinctive trait of 'Kohouts Icebreaker' is its shimmering silvery recurved needles creating a striking effect in the garden. This cultivar is one of two that were selected in 2014 for the ACS Collectors Conifer of the Year program.

Abies koreana ‘Kohouts Icebreaker’ on a standard in the yard of the discover, Jörg Kohout, of Prietitz, Germany.
Photo by Bob Fincham
Photographed at Stanley & Sons Nursery display garden, Boring, OR.
Photo by Larry Stanley
Jörg Kohout with a specimen of 'Kohouts Icebreaker'
Photo by Sven Mühmelt
An attractive grouping of 'Kohouts Icebreaker' specimens at the Flora Wonder Arboretum, Gaston, Oregon.
Photo by David Olszyk
A 12-year old specimen of Abies koreana 'Kohouts Icebreaker' in a private garden in Olympia, Washington. Left unpruned, older plants will assume a dwarf conical shape.
Photo by David Olszyk