Picea abies 'Skyhigh WB' / Skyhigh WB Norway spruce

Picea abies 'Skyhigh WB' is a very slow growing, miniature, globose selection of Norway spruce with dense, clumpy, uniform branching and attractive, blue-green foliage. A bright, yellow-green second push of needles in late summer creates a pleasing sparkling effect. After 10 years of growth, a mature specimen will measure less than 12 inches (30 cm) tall, an annual growth rate of 1 inch (2.5 cm) or less.

This cultivar originated as a witch's broom found in the late 1980s growing in the Moline Riverside Cemetery in Moline, Illinois. It was first discovered by Ken Brooks of Rock Island, IL. He named it 'Skyhigh' because the broom appeared at the very top of an 80-foot tree and collecting scion wood required a lot of effort. The broom was growing so tightly that it was very difficult to get scion wood for grafting. It took about three years of collecting and grafting before a successful graft was done by Randy Dykstra of Fulton, Illinois. The current plant in the Heartland Collection of Garden Conifers at the Bickelhaupt Arboretum, Clinton, Iowa was 20 years of age in 2016.

Picea abies 'Sky High WB' at Bickelhaupt Arboretum, Clinton, Iowa in the Heartland Collection of Garden Conifers, October 2005.
Photo by Dax Herbst
Picea abies 'Sky High WB' — a closeup of foliage detail. Note the sparkling late-summer push of needles.
Photo by Bill Barger
Picea abies 'Sky High WB' — an old plant in an arboretum setting.
Photo by Bill Barger
Picea abies 'Sky High WB' — an historic photo of the original broom tree.
Photo by Chub Harper
Picea abies 'Sky High WB' — a broom hunter collecting scionwood.
Photo by Chub Harper
Picea abies 'Sky High WB' — fresh cuttings ready to graft.
Photo by Chub Harper
Picea abies 'Sky High WB' — Ken Brooks, Randy Dykstra and an unidentified arborist posing with the harvest.
Photo by Chub Harper


Dotte Kayser

Where can I purchase a conifer like this? Dotte

Maxwell Cohn

One can purchase miniature, globose selections of Norway spruce at any high-quality garden center worth shopping at. They are extremely common. However, if you mean this one specifically, you'll probably have to line up a grafter and contact Bickelhaupt Arboretum to ask for cuttings. It's unknown in the nursery trade.


If you are in the Midwest, I have a 2 left at the nursery I work at.