In small gardens it is always hard to find room for everything you want to grow. So if you could grow a shrub or tree that is beautiful in all four seasons, and gave you a crop of delicious fruit too, surely that would be idea. Well, the Serviceberry is that plant, the perfect multi-purpose plant for the small garden, which will feed your eyes and your stomach too. The Serviceberry (Amelanchier) is native shrub to North America and is found in both the USA and Canada. There are also some types that grow in Europe and Asia. In North America it is found from coast to coast in Canada and all the mainland states.
Starting in early spring, when other trees are still asleep, your Serviceberry will be covered with beautiful clusters of pure-white blossoms, making the perfect picture of spring. These will be followed by oval to round leaves that are smooth and an attractive shade of grey-green. In summer there will be clusters of reddish-purple berries that are usually called Saskatoon-berries, which are delicious and nutritious raw, baked in pies or muffins, or turned into wonderful preserves you can enjoy all winter long. Then in fall the leaves will turn glorious shades of orange and gold, filling the garden with color and beauty. Finally you can admire the smooth, light-gray bark of the delicate branches all winter long.
Growing Serviceberry Shrubs
It varies in size from 3 to 20 feet tall, but it is usually a large shrub or small, multi-stemmed tree. The white flowers are small and star-shaped, but they are in clusters of up to 20 flowers, so they make a stunning display, covering the bare branches very early in the season. The oval or round leaves are one or two inches across, with a smooth, slightly glossy surface. The color in summer is a soft grey-green, making an attractive contrast with other plain green plants. In fall the Serviceberry makes a magnificent display, turning wonderful shades of orange and gold, with the veins standing out on the leaves – a real head-turner! The bark on the stems and twigs is smooth, light-gray and very attractive too.
Sun Exposure and Soil Conditions
The Serviceberry is easy to grow too; it will be happy in full sun or partial shade and in most soils, although it will do best in well-drained acidic to neutral soils that do not become too dry. Some extra water to plump-up those ripening berries will be appreciated by your tree. It grows at a medium rate of one or two feet a year, so it will not be long before you have a mature shrub or tree gracing your garden.
On a larger property, plant a row of these beautiful trees and enjoy a bumper harvest of delicious berries. It makes a great boundary planting that is always attractive to see. The berries are round and similar to blueberries, but this is a much easier plant to grow than the blueberry, which is quite demanding. The Serviceberry makes an excellent substitute for blueberries in any recipe and produces wonderful jams and preserves that you can enjoy all winter long.
Pests and Diseases
The Serviceberry is free of significant pests or diseases and will grow well in most kinds of soil, even clay. It is not particularly drought resistant and will not grow so well on alkaline soils. Some water in the summer may be necessary to get a good crop of berries
Choose a sunny or partially shaded location for your Serviceberry and allow five feet from buildings or walls. If planting as a row, allow four to five feet between the plants. Do not plant too close to your boundary, or parts growing over your neighbor’s property can be harvested or cut by them, spoiling your barrier. To Plant your Serviceberry, choose a suitable location and dig a hole that is three times the width of the pot and just a little deeper.
Add plenty of organic material to the soil you have removed from the hole and place your tree at the same depth it was in the pot. Replace most of the soil and firm it down well around the root-ball. Fill the hole with water and wait for it to drain away, and then replace the rest of the soil. Water your tree well every week for the first year and then when the soil becomes dry.
Buying Serviceberry Shrubs at The Tree Center
Our Serviceberry trees are grown from stem pieces of selected plants with the best flowering and fruiting characteristics. These will give excellent results, so avoid cheaper trees of poorer quality that will only be a disappointment in your garden. The Serviceberry is such a popular and reliable multi-purpose plant that demand is always high. We constantly receive new plants so that our customers receive only the best, but supplies can be limited and sell out quickly. Order now to avoid disappointment and to enjoy the benefits of this wonderful plant in your own garden.