Korean Fir Facts
- Most notably, the magnificent Korean Fir represents a variety of tree with a highly restricted habitat range. Yet, even within that range, it only thrives in a very specific region.
- Given its rather limited range, the IUCN quite understandably lists the species as Endangered. Fortunately for the species, however, it has become very popular in certain regions as an ornamental plant.
- But, in its native habitat range, it faces the same threats as other species with small indigenous areas. Above all, climate change and habitat loss pose serious threats to a species with limited, specific environmental needs.
Korean Fir Physical Description
Firstly, the remarkable Korean Fir ranks as a small to medium-sized variety of coniferous evergreen. For example, mature specimens range in height from 33 – 59 ft (10 -18 m), with an average trunk diameter of about 2.3 ft (0.7 m).
However, the plant will sometimes only reach the size of a large shrub. Yet, at all sizes, the bark remains mostly smooth, with some resin blisters. Further, in color, this normally presents as a grayish-brown.
Its leaves also develop needle-like, flattened, and with a glossy dark green color. The arrangement of these is a spiral pattern, but each is variably twisted at its base. These start as a grayish-green, yet turn pinkish-gray when mature.
But, the cones are the most notable trait of the tree. These average 1.6 – 2.8 in (4 – 7 cm) in length, and rather broad in shape, averaging 0.8 in (2 cm). Further, these present a bluish-purple color before maturing.
- Kingdom: Plantae
- Phylum: Pinophyta
- Class: Pinopsida
- Order: Pinales
- Family: Pinaceae
- Genus: Abies
- Species: A. koreana
Korean Fir Distribution, Habitat, and Ecology
Yet even within that range, the habitat requirements of this stunning species remain very specific. Consequently, it appears in regions of temperate rainforest, at altitudes ranging from 3,300 – 6,200 ft (1,000 – 1,900 m).
Further, it evolved to not only survive, but to thrive in very specific weather patterns. These include cool, damp summers with high rainfall totals, and winters with copious amounts of snow.
Finally, the tree releases its numerous seeds as the many cones disintegrate after maturity. This usually occurs between 5 – 6 months after their pollination.