'Silver Show' I hate to see you go

Garen Rees(6a)July 20, 2012

Well, It looks like Abies koreana 'Silver Show' couldn't take the 105�F heat, drought, and humidity. It's destined to be added to the ever growing RIP section of my conifer collection list. My wife is sadly hopeful and tells me to hold on and that it may bounce back next year. I'm sure it will loose the rest of it's needles in the next few days. It was one of our favorites. I watered it just enough through the drought (so I thought) but I'm pretty sure it couldn't take the full sun, extreme heat, and humidity. It was planted last year and looked pretty happy this spring in the first picture. The second picture is what has happened in just the past few days.

Is it a goner? Of course it's goner. Why am I even asking? Someone just lie to me. Tell me, "Oh yeah, it's just summer deciduous." =)

Okay, so on the brighter side, I now have a spot to put something new for fall planting. I really liked the 'Silver Show'. Do you think I would have the same problem next year if I bought another one and put it in the same place? If I get another one should I put it in part shade or does Abies koreana just do bad in hot humid climates? Maybe I just have a brown thumb. Would I be better off going with something else?

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dcsteg(5 Shawnee, KS.)

"Woulda coulda shoulda" I always tell myself as I express a feeling of regret or second guessing upon watching all the
Abies ever planted in my garden expire.

The truth be known Abies is an alpine conifer. The hot humid Midwest summers will usually take most of them out. There are exceptions. Considering the unusual extreme hot conditions with drought an added adversary I would be surprised that any new plantings survived this year.

I finally gave up and decided to go with cultivars that were better suited to with stand the extremes of summer weather in the central United States.

If I were you I would want to know if anybody in your local area are growing Abies with long term success. If so consider another one. If success rate is marginal then I would consider Picea, Pinus, Cupressus, Cedrus as viable replacements.

You obviously need a focal point conifer for that area as a replacement. Choose wisely. There are many in the above group that I mentioned especially in the omorika, orientalis species group.

Sorry about your loss...yes it's a goner...get out the shovel.


    Bookmark   July 20, 2012 at 7:23AM
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gardener365(5b Illinois USA)

Bummer :(

I lost a 'Silver Show' during the two month heat wave last summer. I had it for at least 7 years. I still have a 'Horstmann's Silberlocke' that wasn't fazed the slightest. I grow a ton of firs here btw but I am 5-10 degrees cooler than Dave. If it's 100 here it's likely 108 at his place. I see looking at Google maps you're in a direct line with Kansas City, KS which is basically where Dave is.

A super easy conifer to grow is Thuja occidentalis. 'Sherwood Frost' is a damn good culitvar. It's yellow-tipped, so not white like 'Silver Show' but is still imo a focal point conifer.


    Bookmark   July 20, 2012 at 7:46AM
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coniferjoy(z7 The Netherlands)

I'm also sorry for your loss.
You could had avoid it if you treathed your specimen with wiltpruf...

    Bookmark   July 20, 2012 at 7:56AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

Someone just lie to me.

==>> if you wish.. lol ..

interior needle loss is normal..

increased and complicated by transplant.. or lack of establishment.. plus heat and drought ...

all your needles loss is the older stuff ...

life is all in the buds .. if those can make it.. in theory .. the plant will survive ...

continue deep thorough watering ... and you have a chance ...

good enough??? .. enough cliches????


    Bookmark   July 20, 2012 at 9:53AM
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Garen Rees(6a)

Thanks Dave, Dax, and Edwin.

Yeah, I probably should stay away from Abies. I lost my 'Blaue Hexe' too but my 'cis' is still hanging in there. I met a fellow conifer nut at one of my local nurseries and he said that he has tried and tried to grow firs with no success. I have seen a picture of a good sized, wide growing 'Silver Show' growing near me at the Rowe Arboretum in Cincinnati OH but who nows if it is still there. I may have to pay a visit to see and bring back some pictures to share. I have never been to an arboretum.

I have some Wiltpruf on order and I'm on the search for a new focal point.

I replaced my Abies procera 'Blaue Hexe' with a happy Cedrus atlantica 'Sapphire Nymph' and I couldn't be happier. I love the cedars so I have a few more planned to replace this years losses.

Thanks for the suggestion Dax. I don't have many Thuja and Thuja occidentalis 'Sherwood Frost' is a pretty one. I will definitely look for that one. =)

    Bookmark   July 20, 2012 at 9:59AM
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Garen Rees(6a)

Ha ha thanks Ken, I just saw your post after I posted.

If it actually keeps the top needles I may keep it and see how it does next spring. I have grown attached to it and my wife won't let me pull it out unless it's a complete goner.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2012 at 10:06AM
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