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This small tree thrives through all four seasons and offers so much to any garden. Abundant white blooms in spring are followed by delicious berries in summer, fiery foliage in fall, and silver bark in winter.
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Blooms, Berries, and Foliage
Serviceberry trees display white blooms just before their foliage emerges in early spring, offering some of the earliest sources of nectar for pollinators. The five-petaled flowers closely resemble apple blossoms but with skinnier petals.
After the show of these blooms, clusters of edible berries form. As summer begins, berry colors ripen to a deep red then purple color. The berries make a wonderful substitute for blueberries and can be eaten fresh or made into jams and jellies.
Serviceberry foliage has an open and loose habit. This allows dappled light to shine through, which creates a space for part-shade plants to sit below the base of serviceberry trees. As nights cool down in autumn, blue-green foliage transforms into beautiful shades of orange and red.
Serviceberry Care Must-Knows
Serviceberry's habits are extremely versatile. They can be treated as either a large shrub or a small tree. Some species of serviceberry can sucker and create spreading colonies. In their natural habitat, these trees tend to do well in part shade.
Serviceberry trees encounter very few problems. If you experience a particularly dry and hot summer, spider mites could appear on the foliage. In most cases, this will cause no long-term damage to the health of the tree; the effects are merely cosmetic. Serviceberry trees grow fast and can quickly fill a garden.
More Varieties of Serviceberry
Amelanchier arborea is also known as downy serviceberry, a reference to the fine hairs on its leaves and twigs. In cultivation, it grows 15 to 25 feet tall and wide, but in native woodlands it may reach 40 feet tall. Its fall color is a delightful mix of orange, red, and gold. Zones 4-9