Picea abies 'Middle Road' / Middle Road Norway spruce

Picea abies 'Middle Road' is a relatively slow-growing globose selection of Norway spruce that, with age, becomes broadly conical. Branching is fairly loose and open and foliage is species-typical, medium green in color. After 10 years of growth, a mature specimen will measure 3 to 4 feet (1 - 1.3 m) tall and wide, an annual growth rate of 3 to 5 inches (7.5 - 13 cm).

This cultivar originated as a witch's broom found in the 1990s by Justin "Chub" Harper of Moline, Illinois and Randy Dykstra of Fulton on the grounds of of a private residence in Davenport, Iowa. In his field notes, Chub described the broom as, "medium size, low, upright growth." It is highly unlikely that this conifer ever gained much traction in the nursery trade, leaving all existing specimens only in arboretums in the midwestern U.S. as well as a few private collections.

Picea abies 'Middle Road' in the Harper Collection of Dwarf and Rare Conifers located at Hidden Lake Gardens, in Tipton, Michigan, August 2005.
Photo by Dax Herbst
Picea abies 'Middle Road' at Rich's Foxwillow Pines Nursery, Illinois.
Photo by Rich Eyre