Serviceberry - <em>Amelanchier spp.</em> - Zone 1 -

Serviceberry - Amelanchier spp. - Zone 1

Serviceberry is a small deciduous tree or shrub native to the northern United States and most of Canada. It produces blueberry-like fruit that actually taste a great deal like blueberries.

1-3 Feetsold-out$20.00$0.00

The Tree

Unfortunately not as well-known as they should be, these slow-growing plants can occur as either shrubs or small trees, rarely exceeding heights of 2.5 metres or spreads of 4.5 metres. They are relatively short-lived with life spans usually ranging between 40-60 years. There are somewhere between 15 and 30 species of Serviceberry native to North America and with a very strong tendency to hybridize in the wild, there are constantly new hybrid varieties being born. This makes it very difficult to pinpoint any one specific variety; however, they are all very similar in most of their characteristics, particularly the fruit.  These plants grow in a wide variety of conditions, being adaptable to all but the most waterlogged soils and doing well in both sun and partial shade. For those growing them for fruit however; they will provide optimal yields when grown in full sun. The tree has a silvery grey bark and small, silvery/green oval or elliptical leaves with finely toothed margins. Fruit are ready for harvest between June and August depending on location and go through a spectrum of colours throughout the season. They are preceded by brilliant white flowers that appear in early spring.

Its Uses

Serviceberries have an exquisite flavour very similar to blueberries but sweeter and with a hint of almond flavour that comes from the seeds.  They are a real treat, if you can get them before the birds do. They can be eaten raw or in any number of other ways such as in: jellies, cobblers, pies, muffins, coffee cakes or as dessert toppings. In addition to their delicious fruit, Serviceberries are an exquisite sight, providing ornamental value year round. Early spring is marked by the blooming of small clusters of beautiful bright white flowers with five long petals. These are quickly followed by vibrant leaves that change from a purplish hue to a more typical green as they mature. The flowers are replaced by clusters of fruit that progress from green to red to dark purple until they are ripe in June. Leaves then provide attractive yellows, reds and oranges in the fall. Even in winter these trees are a sight to behold thanks to their ornamental bark that really plays up when they are pruned  down to a single trunked specimen. Another option is to train them into a beautiful and functional hedge. Native peoples not only consumed the berries but also used the dried leaves to make tea. They also used the plant medicinally and for making baskets and cord.

Height at maturity2.5 metres (8 feet)
Spacing8 feet
Hardiness zone1
SoilAny soil, except waterlogged
Sun / shadeVery adaptable. Full sun, partial shade.
HarvestJune to August
Average fruit weight
Fruit colorDark purple
Years to bear fruit3
Latin nameAmelanchier spp.
Average diameter of fruit
Also known asJuneberry