Picea abies 'Dumpy' / Dumpy Norway spruce

Picea abies 'Dumpy' is an odd, tight bun of dense, prickly, light-green foliage growing on branches of differing growth rates. Some parts of the plant will display extremely tight, crowded growth while another part of the plant only inches away may have a more open, coarse appearance. Curious to note that over time, these growth zones will migrate to different parts of the plant. The foliage can be so dense at times that it can be difficult to insert a finger into the plant.

After 10 years of growth, a mature specimen will measure 12 inches (30 cm) tall and wide, an annual growth rate averaging 1 inch (2.5 cm). Grafted plants will grow slightly faster at first, then slow down with age. Rooted cuttings, on the other hand, will be much slower, denser and much more special. If grown from a rooted cutting, a ten-year-old specimen will be the size of a grapefruit at best.

This cultivar originated as a witch's broom found in 1970 on a specimen of P. abies 'Pygmaea' at Red Lodge Nursery in Chandler’s Ford, Hampshire, United Kingdom who also named it and introduced it to the nursery trade.

Picea abies 'Dumpy' — a closeup of foliage detail.
Photo by Bill Barger