Picea abies 'Kirkpatrick' / Kirkpatrick Norway spruce

Picea abies 'Kirkpatrick' is a fast-growing, irregular-upright, tree-form of Norway spruce with an interesting, random branching habit. Branches grow at a very disparate rate, some growing quite long, while others on the same branch will be little more than short stubs. They effect is not the snake-like structure seem in many spruces; branches appear quite rigid, straight and stiff. Foliage is quite sparse, along the faster shoots and clumpy on the short stubs. Needles are of species-typical length and dark-green in color.

After 10 years of growth, a mature specimen will measure 6 feet (2 m) tall and 4.5 feet (1.5 m) wide, an annual growth rate of 6 to 8 inches (15 - 20 cm).

This cultivar is thought to have originated in the U.S. sometime in the early 1990s. A notable specimen is extant in Dawes Arboretum, Newark, Ohio. According to Dawes Arboretum, it is derived from a witch's broom mutation. Despite being a very interesting conifer, it is not known to be in cultivation.

Picea abies 'Kirkpatrick' — a closeup of this cultivar's very interesting branch detail.
Photo by Dawes Arboretum Explorer
Picea abies 'Kirkpatrick' — a fine, large specimen in Dawes Arboretum, Newark, Ohio.
Photo by Dawes Arboretum Explorer