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Service-tree Amelanchier arborea

Previously known as:

  • A. canadensis
Phonetic Spelling
am-uh-LAN-kee-er ar-bor-EE-ah
Description

Serviceberry is a deciduous tree that typically grows 15 to 25 feet tall, however, it can reach heights of 40' in the wild.  It is typically found growing ion wooded slopes and cliffs, open woods, wooded bluffs, rocky woodlands, limestone glades, riverbanks, and edges of swamps. It is a multistemmed small tree or if the root suckers are not removed, it will attain a more shrubby like form. In the spring, fragrant 5-petaled, white flowers mature.  The flowers are followed by leaves that are alternate with a finely toothed margin and hairy underside. The bark is smooth when young. As the tree ages, long, vertical splits and furrows develop. The small tree produces a red to purple berry that matures in the late summer to fall.  The berries have some resemblance to blueberries. 

Insects, Diseases and Other Plant Problems:  Insects include leaf miner, pear sawfly, spider mites, aphids, peach borer, and scale insects.  Diseases affecting the plant are cedar apple rust, glomerella leaf spot-fruit rot, fire blight, powdery mildew, witches' broom, and leaf blight.  This plant is slow to root after transplant. Its suckering habit may also lead to the plant being somewhat invasive. 

VIDEO Created by Elisabeth Meyer for "Edibles, Bulbs, and Houseplants" a plant identification course offered in partnership with Longwood Gardens.   

More information on Amelanchier.

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See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • Amelanchier x grandflora 'Autumn Sunset'
    Orange fall color
  • 'Cole'
  • 'Robin Hill'
    Tolerates partial paving, good street tree.
  • var. arborea Amelanchier arborea var. arborea
    var. laevis Amelanchier arborea var. laevis
Amelanchier x grandflora 'Autumn Sunset', 'Cole', 'Robin Hill', var. arborea, var. laevis
Tags:
#bees#fragrant#white#sun#deciduous#fall color#invasive#full sun#partial shade#white flowers#shrub#showy#tree#native shrub#flowering tree#air pollution tolerant#food source#cpp#low flammability#NC native#deer resistant#native garden#fire resistant#alkaline soil tolerant#early spring flowers#larval host plant#food source summer#food source herbage#food source nectar#food source pollen#Piedmont Mountains FAC#fruits#clay soils tolerant#bird friendly#nectar plant late spring#mammals#food source soft mast fruit#butterfly friendly#nectar plant mid-spring#Coastal FACU#nectar plant early spring#butterflies#pollinators#audubon
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • Amelanchier x grandflora 'Autumn Sunset'
    Orange fall color
  • 'Cole'
  • 'Robin Hill'
    Tolerates partial paving, good street tree.
  • var. arborea Amelanchier arborea var. arborea
    var. laevis Amelanchier arborea var. laevis
Amelanchier x grandflora 'Autumn Sunset', 'Cole', 'Robin Hill', var. arborea, var. laevis
Tags:
#bees#fragrant#white#sun#deciduous#fall color#invasive#full sun#partial shade#white flowers#shrub#showy#tree#native shrub#flowering tree#air pollution tolerant#food source#cpp#low flammability#NC native#deer resistant#native garden#fire resistant#alkaline soil tolerant#early spring flowers#larval host plant#food source summer#food source herbage#food source nectar#food source pollen#Piedmont Mountains FAC#fruits#clay soils tolerant#bird friendly#nectar plant late spring#mammals#food source soft mast fruit#butterfly friendly#nectar plant mid-spring#Coastal FACU#nectar plant early spring#butterflies#pollinators#audubon
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Amelanchier
    Species:
    arborea
    Family:
    Rosaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Root Cutting
    Seed
    Stem Cutting
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Eastern North America
    Fire Risk Rating:
    medium flammability
    Wildlife Value:
    Host plant for Red-spotted purple and Viceroy butterflies. Butterflies and other insects nectar at the blooms. Fruits are eaten by songbirds, small and large mammals.
    Play Value:
    Attracts Pollinators
    Edible fruit
    Wildlife Larval Host
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    Resistant to fire in the landscape. This tree is mildly resistant to damage by deer.
    Edibility:
    Edible fruit used to make jams, jellies, and pies.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 15 ft. 0 in. - 25 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 10 ft. 0 in. - 15 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Native Plant
    Shrub
    Tree
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Dense
    Erect
    Multi-stemmed
    Rounded
    Growth Rate:
    Slow
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    Loam (Silt)
    Soil pH:
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Dry
    Occasionally Wet
    Available Space To Plant:
    12-24 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    4a, 4b, 5b, 5a, 6b, 6a, 7b, 7a, 8a, 8b, 9b, 9a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Green
    Purple/Lavender
    Red/Burgundy
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Edible
    Showy
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Summer
    Fruit Type:
    Pome
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    The small, fleshy green apple-like fruits will turn red. In the summer, they will mature to a purple-black. They have a similar taste as highbush blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum), but slightly sweeter. Fruits display from May to August.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Raceme
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Shape:
    Star
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    > 6 inches
    Flower Description:
    Drooping racemes of star-shaped, white to pale pink flowers bloom from March to May.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Deciduous Leaf Fall Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Orange
    Red/Burgundy
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Elliptical
    Obovate
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Serrate
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Length:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Young leaves are covered with hairs on the underside, an almost pussy willow effect. As the tree matures, the leaves are less hairy. At maturity, the green leaves may be covered with hairs.
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Dark Gray
    Light Gray
    Surface/Attachment:
    Fissured
    Smooth
    Bark Description:
    Its bark is smooth when young, more fissured as it ages. As the tree ages, long, vertical splits and furrows develop.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Gray/Silver
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Coastal
    Lawn
    Meadow
    Naturalized Area
    Patio
    Pond
    Recreational Play Area
    Slope/Bank
    Small Space
    Walkways
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Edible Garden
    Garden for the Blind
    Native Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Rock Garden
    Winter Garden
    Design Feature:
    Accent
    Barrier
    Border
    Flowering Tree
    Mass Planting
    Shade Tree
    Small groups
    Small Tree
    Understory Tree
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Butterflies
    Pollinators
    Small Mammals
    Songbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Fire