Shadblow serviceberry (Amelanchier canadensis), also known as Canadian serviceberry or Juneberry, is a big, multi-trunked shrub that may grow up to 30 feet tall. The attractive spring flowers, fruit and fall foliage of this plant make it an impressive addition to a property landscape near a deck, pool or patio as part of a mixed shrubbery border. The sturdy, low-maintenance serviceberry will develop as a perennial in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 4 to 8.
The deciduous serviceberry tree boasts fragrant, five-petaled white flowers against a backdrop of dark green leaves in summer and spring, with brilliant yellow, orange or red leaves in the fall. The 1/4- to 3/8-inch diameter fruit ripens in early to mid summer, turning red, then dark purplish-black, also it is edible raw or cooked. This multi-stemmed tree may spread 15 to 20 feet and sports a narrow, open crown with many suckers that can form a thicket.
Uses and Location
In the wild, serviceberry frequently grows in wetlands, which makes the tree a appropriate choice for siting near a backyard pond or water feature. Serviceberry is wind-tolerant and will offer protection from the end for other plants that are more sensitive. Serviceberry plants also perform well in naturalized plantings under tall oaks or pines and will attract birds and small wildlife. The serviceberry is considered to have special value to native bees and as a plant that attracts beneficial insects which prey upon pest insects.
Serviceberry plants tolerate a broad range of soil types and pH ranges as long as the ground is moist but not waterlogged or overly dry. The most effective light states are filtered light under a canopy of trees, although these shrubs grow well in full sun to part shade. Plants rarely require fertilizing or pruning, but several stems can be thinned to neaten up the foundation of the plant.
Serviceberry can be propagated via ancient spring hardwood cuttings or softwood cuttings taken through summer. To propagate from seeds, collect fruits as they ripen and wash out the seeds before they ferment. To inform if seeds are fertile, look for ones which are dark brown with a leathery coat. Seeds need to be cold-moist stratified by soaking in cold water for 90 to 120 days before planting, and they may be kept for up to five years in a sealed container in a refrigerator. Serviceberry seeds can also be commercially available.
Pests and Disorders
Few insects or diseases bother serviceberry shrubs, as well as those that do typically cause cosmetic problems as opposed to destroy the plant. Several of the frequent pest infestations include aphids, sawflies, leaf miners, borers and scale, while some ailments may consist of leaf spot, blight and powdery mildew. Environmental damage such as drowning and edema may occur if the soil gets too water-saturated, resulting in rotted roots and bark and blisters on leaves.