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tsugajunkie

Picea abies 'Calvary Upright'

A nice plant that belies it's name. Not an upright (and probably can't ride a horse) it forms an irregular mound. Found by Randy Dykstra in the late 70's at Calvary Cemetery in Rock Island, Illinois it will be a soft fuzzball in spring, then a somewhat glaucus green in summer and finally a dark green with dark blue tones in fall and winter.

Here's my plant this spring. Planted as a one gallon in spring of '07.

Here's Randy's original 30 year old plant.

And a 20 year old plant grown more in the open at Bickelhaupt.

{{gwi:623116}}

Below is a link to the pic of the Bickelhaupt plant which was taken later in the year (in 2002) showing the dark green coloration.

tj

Here is a link that might be useful: ACS Pic

Comments (29)

  • sprucebud
    13 years ago

    Great form and colour.

  • dcsteg
    13 years ago

    tj

    Very nice...where did you purchase yours?

    Dave

  • tsugajunkie z5 SE WI ♱
    Original Author
    13 years ago

    I got mine from Porterhowse.

    I bought mine based on the pic on the ACS site. Like sprucebud said, it looked to have a nice form and color. When I got to see the mature plants last year they looked even better in person.

    tj

  • FrozeBudd_z3/4
    13 years ago

    Now that's one heck of a beauty ... LOVE it!

    Terry

  • gardener365
    13 years ago

    Nice LITTLE plant Tom. It makes me think of drinking burr.

    Dax

  • gardener365
    13 years ago

    Thanks Tom for posting photos. I've been waiting years for you to do so. It's been nice to see some of your stuff here recently.

    Thanks again,

    Dax

  • tsugajunkie z5 SE WI ♱
    Original Author
    13 years ago

    Your welcome, Dax. As I mentioned in an email to you this Spring, I felt like a slacker and needed to post more pix.

    tj

  • bamboo_nuts
    6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Hi tj,

    I found one at a local nursery. It's labeled, by Iseli, as P.A 'Calvary', not 'Calvary Upright'. I wonder it is the same plant?

    What is the growth rate? ACS listed it as miniature, but I don't think it is.

    Thanks

    J.N

  • gardener365
    6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Hi J.N.,

    Whenever I have a question such as yours I go to Zsolt Mesterhazy's 'The Conifer Treasury'. His work has a massive amount of information. You might want to bookmark it.


    The Conifer Treasury

    You'll see all the Genus/species links right at the homepage. And there are (3) "Calvary" plants listed.

    'Calvary No. 1'

    'Calvary Spreader'

    'Calvary Upright'

    -

    Dax

  • bamboo_nuts
    6 years ago

    Thanks Dax! The description of both 'Calvary Spreader' and 'Calvary Upright' tells me that they came from the same place on the same parent plant. Then how come one is 'Upright' and one is "Spreader'? Can you shed some light into this? Adding to confusion is this: I googled the plant and some of the growers/collectors(?) said "from the early broom, it is upright and then later graft it became spreader. Is this correct? TJ, on this thread also says that it is a spreader.

    Do you personally own both of them? And most importantly, what are they growth rates?

    Thanks Dax for poiting me the site.

    J.N

  • bamboo_nuts
    6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Dax,

    By the way, I see the plant in person. It looks much more beautiful than the pix in this thread. It is dark, dark, dark shinny/glossy green. And the new buds are dark orange which makes the plant pop- out at this time of year. What a plant! But I'm afraid that it is a bit too big for such a miserably small garden as mine.

    I might just go for it anyway. Can't resist its color.

    J.N

  • gardener365
    6 years ago

    J.N.,

    A lot of times several brooms are found in one location such as a Cemetary. One broom may be found on one tree and two brooms on another tree. Or, (1) & (1) & (1) broom per tree or all three on a single tree. You never know unless the documented information tells the whole story.

    What we do know is that all three brooms are different. That's w/o question.

    Dax

  • ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5
    6 years ago

    The description of both 'Calvary Spreader' and 'Calvary Upright' tells
    me that they came from the same place on the same parent plant.


    ==>> ... i doubt it ...


    its extremely extraordinary to get a witches broom.. abhorrent growth ... on a plant ...


    IMHO ... to get two.. diveregent wb's on one plant ... i would put right up there with the odds of an asteroid hitting the earth ...


    and BTW.. i am too lazy to read descriptions.. lol ... so this might be little more than fertilizer.. lol ...


    to my reading??? .... the fact that they are both named Calvary.. means they came from the same nursery.. or plantsman ...


    whatever... for whatever its worth ... most likely nothing ...


    wouldnt the world be so much better ... if they used a real cultivar name... rather than useless words like spreader or upright ...


    ken

  • bamboo_nuts
    6 years ago

    Dax,

    Thanks for the info.

    Ken,

    I'll find the sites where they described about the "Spread" and "Upright'. They (collectors/nurseries) said that , at first it is an upright, then subsequent grafts from the upright became spreader. The fact, I gather, that Iseli does not label it as an Upright because it is now a Spreader and thus the word upright is no longer true. As TJ mentioned earlier in this post, the word "upright" is not correct because even it is labeled 'Upright', it is not an upright.

    Man, you should see the plant in person. It is just simply beautiful.

    I'll go get it tomorrow and show you guys the pix of it. If it outgrows my garden in the future then I just have to give it away, but for now it would look great at one corner of my raised bed.

    Interesting conversations though. Thanks all!

    J.N

  • bamboo_nuts
    6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Here is what Porthowse says about the plant.

    http://www.porterhowse.com/list_view.php?plant_id=3002

    And here is what Gee Farms says about it.

    http://www.geefarms.com/itemsearch.php?PDID=119

    And contrary to what I think, it might be a miniature. The new growth look short and round but I also see a few long stems too. Where those long stems come from? Confused.

    J.N

  • tsugajunkie z5 SE WI ♱
    Original Author
    6 years ago

    The name "Upright" came from the fact the the tree at Calvary Cemetery was upright. All the grafts never formed a leader, so perhaps to avoid confusion they changed the 'upright' to 'spreader'...now leading to more confusion. Randy Dykstra would know as he found it. As to being a mini, well my second pic up top is Randy's first graft at 30 years and my 3rd pic is a 20 year old plant. My plant grew 2-3 inches per year until I killed it moving it a few years back. If I found another, I'd buy it. Late fall and through winter it had the deepest, darkest green color of any Picea abies I've seen and with a bluish tint to boot.

    tj

  • bamboo_nuts
    6 years ago

    Hi tj,

    Glad you join the conversation. And sorry that you killed the plant.

    Yes, I've never seen such beautiful dark green. I'm no a fan of dark green color, but I love this guy.

    Thanks for clearing up the cloud around 'upright' or 'spreader' thing.

    What is the approximated height of the plant after 20 years?

    J.N

  • tsugajunkie z5 SE WI ♱
    Original Author
    6 years ago

    The 20 year old pictured above was roughly 3.5 X 3.5 feet.

    tj

  • bamboo_nuts
    6 years ago

    Hi tj,

    Thanks a lot for the info. That size would fit the bill since i have a very limited space.

    J.N

  • plantkiller_il_5
    6 years ago

    I get excel file of gee farms 1 ,3 , 5 gal. stock ,,,Calvary not listed

    just sayen , ron

    I do like the sound of that plant

  • bamboo_nuts
    6 years ago

    Ron,

    Iseli has it.

    J.N

  • PRO
    Select Landscapes of Iowa
    6 years ago

    I went into discussion about 'Calvary Upright' with our sales rep from Iseli earlier this year. They changed the name to 'Calvary' to avoid confusion (customers thinking they were getting an upright plant when in fact they were not). From what I remember, they pruned out the more upright growth on the larger ones they had (in #10 containers). The habit in the #10s was much more spreading than upright. I remember seeing the pics someone had posted on here and the two didn't look very similar, though it may have been hard to see based on the photos from Iseli's container fields.

    I ended up going with Picea abies 'Hilburghausen' and Picea abies 'Swedona', both of which had a more upright habit in their containers.

  • gardener365
    6 years ago

    I have a 10-year old 'Hildburghausen'. It's a plant known for having the same growth rate from every bud making it a perfect globe. My plant came from Coenosium Gardens, Bob Fincham, when he was still in business.

    'Swedona' is a town near here. That is another Randy Dykstra/Chub Harper find, indeed.

    Dax

  • plantkiller_il_5
    6 years ago

    Hey , bamboo , are you saying iseli has it cause it's in their catalog , or cause you know , somehow ,they have it ?

    I tried to order a plant this spring that was listed in catalog , but was told by my nursery that it was not available,,,what's up with that ?

    ron

  • bamboo_nuts
    6 years ago

    I know Iseli has it because my local nursery has the plant with Iseli tag on it. Try with your local nursery again and see if they can order for you.

    Good luck!

    J.N

  • PRO
    Select Landscapes of Iowa
    6 years ago

    Ron,

    Iseli had a few in during their Spring shipping period this year but had none listed this fall. Once the availability for next year comes in I will let you know and you can pass this along to your local nursery. I'm not sure they have officially added it to their production schedule as it is not in their 2016 price list. They always have a few of some things they are trying out but that doesn't always mean they end up being added to their product line.

    Bruce

  • plantkiller_il_5
    6 years ago

    Yes , Bruce , I'm sure we all would like update.

    few of us have direct contact with Iseli

    ron

  • PRO
    Select Landscapes of Iowa
    6 years ago

    For next year they have 'Calvary' available in #3s or #20s (the #20s must be gigantic plants). Haven't seen that it is officially added to their product line yet.

    Newer material that they have added for next year are:

    Spruces: Picea pungens 'Golden Feathers' (got three of these in 4-5' size), Picea pungens 'Hermann Naue', Picea pungens 'Millbrook', Picea abies 'Gold Drift', Picea glauca 'Keji', Picea abies 'Blaze' (I think this is a smaller, fuller seedling of 'Rubra-Spicata' that has the same brilliant red new growth)

    Pines: Pinus strobus 'Stowe Pillar', Pinus strobus 'Mohr', Pinus bungeana 'Morris Arb. Witches Broom #46'

    Arborvitae: Thuja occidentalis 'Kunau', Thuja occidentalis 'Linwood #4', Thuja occidentalis 'Riverside #2'

    Several of them I can't find much info on.

    They also have a couple newer plants they are introducing but haven't given a proper name yet- one is a witch's broom from a Picea omorika 'Bruns' and the other is a seedling of the hybrid selection Picea x 'Ali'. Can tell the nursery business has improved dramatically compared to two years ago as they are sold out of an incredible amount of plant material.