Picea abies 'Tompa' / Tompa Norway spruce

Picea abies 'Tompa' is a dwarf, conical selection of Norway spruce with light green juvenile foliage on ascending branches. It bears a superficial resemblance to Picea glauca var. albertiana 'Conica'. After 10 years of growth, a specimen will attain dimensions of 16 inches (40 cm) tall and wide, a rate of growth of a bit more than 1 inch (2.5 cm) per year.

This cultivar originated as a seedling selected in 1975 by Miklós Barabits, Sopron, Hungary and named by Elemér Barabits. One can still find the original plant in the Barabits’s Lővér Pinetum in Sopron. It was later introduced to the nursery trade by Egzota Nursery of Mr. Barabits, Hungary; M. Böhmer Nursery. Zundert, The Netherlands; and Gee Farms Nursery, Stockbridge, Michigan, USA.

Picea abies 'Tompa' — Green Industry Images; copyrighted photograph; permission granted.
Photo by Ernie Wiegand
Picea abies 'Tompa' growing in northwestern Pennsylvania. It grows with softer foliage than most Norway spruce.
Photo by William Dunagin
an interesting 'Tompa' group at Talon Buchholz's Flora Wonder arboretum in Gaston, Oregon.
Photo by David Olszyk


David Lauterbach

My Picea abies 'Tompa' seems to be struggling this year. I purchased it in May 2009, this has been a stellar performer. This year it does not show its typical bright color, individual needles are browning from the tips, and it looks dull and brown behind the surface. Any idea what might be causing this type of problem? Brunswick, OH

Maxwell Cohn

Hello David ... it could be any number of things:

1) sun scorch from excessive heat and sun before new foliage was hardened off.

2) originally planted too deeply and the roots are failing (can you see the root flare)? Planting too deep can often take up to 15 years to kill the plant.

3) has a neighbor been spraying the area with weed killer on a windy day?

4) is there a dog walking around with a full bladder?