Picea abies 'Morrison West' / Morrison West Norway spruce

Picea abies 'Morrison West' is a slow-growing, symmetrically globose, miniature selection of Norway spruce with tight, uniform branching and radially arranged, medium green needles. After 10 years of growth, a mature specimen will measure 10 inches (25 cm) tall and wide, an annual growth rate of around 1 inch (2.5 cm).

This cultivar originated as a witch's broom found in the mid-1980s by Justin "Chub" Harper of Moline, Illinois and Randy Dykstra of Fulton. It was one of two broom trees that they found on the grounds of Morrison Cemetery, Morrison. In Harper's field notes, he described the broom as, "medium size and height, best of two." As for 'Morrison East,' he described it as, "medium size and height, not unusual." Clearly that one wasn't worthy of propagating.

It is uncertain whether of not this conifer exists in cultivation. If extant, one can possibly locate a specimen at Bickelhaupt arboretum, Clinton, Iowa, where many of Chub and Randy's witch's broom finds reside.

Picea abies 'Morrison West' — an historic photo of the original witch's broom.
Photo by Chub Harper archives
Picea abies 'Morrison West' — an historic photo of the original broom tree in Morrison, Illinois.
Photo by Chub Harper archives