which serviceberry?

christie_sw_mo(Z6)October 18, 2002

Which serviceberry should I plant if I want some to munch on? I keep reading that the birds get them first so I think something low that I could net would be best if they taste good. I've only tried canandensis. Do they all taste about the same? Are they any newer cultivars that I should watch for?

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newyorkrita(z6b/7a LI NY)

Many places offering Serviceberry shrubs for wildlife seem to have the species. Personally, I think you get heavier more reliable fruit production from a named Cultivar because these were chosen over the run of the mill especially for more and better tasting fruit.

Mine were just planted this year so I am planning on fruit next year.

Did you see this thread on The Wildlife forum "Mail Ordered Serviceberries"? It has a link to DNA gardens supplied by LuckyP. That is a fantastic site for information on serviceberries. Also a link to St Lawrence Nurseries, which has great selection of small shrubs for bare root planting.

Here is a link that might be useful: Mail order Serviceberries

    Bookmark   October 18, 2002 at 12:17PM
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mollys3(z7 SC)

I just received my Allegheny serviceberry. I read about different ones and the description of this one said that it had the best berries. I don't know if that's true but I hope so! This one gets about 15-20 feet though. I was thinking that if I let the bottom limbs grow instead of limbing up maybe I could get to some of the berries easier.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2002 at 10:56PM
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seraphima(z4 AK)

i bought a "Smokey" from Raintree this year, which is supposed to be one of the best for humans to eat. It has very pretty yellow leaves this fall; I'm pleased with it as a fall color plant. No berries yet, although it grew a lot this year.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2002 at 12:34AM
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lucky_p

Depends on whether you want a small, suckering shrub or a small single or multiple-trunked tree type. Fruits on all are tasty - if you can beat the birds to 'em.

I have access to a couple of mature Allegheny serviceberry(A.laevis) trees in town - and they produce more fruit than the birds or I can gather or eat.
Most of my saskatoon/juneberry(A.alnifolia)bushes are 2-6 years of age - none are much more than 3 ft. tall, but are spreading rapidly. They usually begin fruiting in their 2nd or 3rd season. I've got several named varieties, and seedlings of named varieties. All are equally tasty, but there is some minor difference in fruit size.
I've been well-pleased with selections I've received from St. Lawrence Nurseries.

Here is a link that might be useful: St. Lawrence Nurseries

    Bookmark   October 21, 2002 at 11:16PM
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christie_sw_mo(Z6)

I've been checking out the links. St. Lawrence is pretty reasonable for named cultivars but they are so far north. Sounds like they transplanted OK for you Lucky. Hope they don't mind our midwest weather here.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2002 at 12:08PM
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lucky_p

Shouldn't be a problem for you, Christie.
Only caveat is that there is a cedar-serviceberry rust disease, similar to cedar-apple rust. I've never seen it on any of my serviceberries, and I've got plenty of eastern redcedar around here - but have seen it on "Autumn Brilliance" in Indiana; foliar lesions, and fruits reduced to big masses of fungal fruiting bodies. Ugly.
Mainly depends on whether that specific strain of the fungus is present in your area.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2002 at 12:28AM
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christie_sw_mo(Z6)

Eewwwwww - We have eastern redcedar thick along the roadsides here. I don't have any on my property and neither do my immediate neighbors but when I planted a Washington Hawthorn it got cedar-apple rust right away. I think it may have already been infected. Lucky - one more question - Do you remember if you planted your serviceberries that you got from St. Lawrence in the spring or fall? I remember reading a post about transplanting problems with serviceberry so now I worry.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2002 at 7:04AM
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lucky_p

Got 'em in the spring, potted 'em up for a year, then transplanted - can't recall whether they went in their permanent location in spring, winter or fall; but, have not had any problems with them getting established.

Rust is a big problem with hawthorns in many areas of the country. I've seen it all over Washington and Winter King hawthorns here in town, but I've never noticed it on any of the native cockspur hawthorns(C.crus-galli) out around the farm. I have some mayhaws grafted onto native hawthorn seedlings I've moved out of the cowpasture; they're young, not yet old enough to fruit, but I've seen no evidence of rust on them(yet).

    Bookmark   October 28, 2002 at 11:27AM
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newyorkrita(z6b/7a LI NY)

Just got a catalog from Oikos Tree Crops. Although I asked for the Spring 2003 Catalog, I got the Fall 2002 Catalog. Anyway, they have Allegheny Serviceberry listed that they are selling as 3-6 inch seedlings. Small but the price is so good I am going to order two, pot them up, and wait for them to get some growth on them.

I just want more Serviceberries!

    Bookmark   December 27, 2002 at 1:00AM
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chills71(Zone 6b Mi)

Do you have a website or phone number for that nursery?

I know they're located in Kalamazoo Mi (and I'm hoping to get out there this spring)

Thanks..

~Chills

    Bookmark   December 27, 2002 at 4:43PM
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newyorkrita(z6b/7a LI NY)

Send an e-mail to oak24@aol.com and request a catalog. They were very quick to send the catalog.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2002 at 7:04PM
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newyorkrita(z6b/7a LI NY)

My new (as of last summer) Grandiflora Hybred Servicebery has quite afew bloom spikes and the first one is almost open. The Regent Serviceberry shrubs I got last year have an awsome ammount of bloom clusters but they are far from opening. So we will see whats best.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2003 at 1:07PM
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lrobins(z5 CO)

I am in the Washington DC area, more specifically Montgomery County MD northwest of the city. I planted an 'Autumn Brilliance' serviceberry (Amelanchier x grandiflora 'Autumn Brilliance') in October 2001, and it came down with Cedar-Serviceberry rust in 2002. The rust did very little damage to the foliage, but did ruin some berries, just as 'Lucky P' describes. Too early yet to tell how bad the rust will be this year. However, there are several mature Serviceberries planted on the edge of a wooded area by a lake in my neigborhood, species or cultivar unknown, and last June I found that they were producing abundant, large berries with no evidence of rust.

Would appreciate any comments on your experience with Cedar-Serviceberry rust; in particular if you have found some cultivars resistant and other vulnerable, in the same garden, this would be useful to know.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2003 at 1:54PM
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newyorkrita(z6b/7a LI NY)

I did get to eat a few, and I mean a VERY few of the Regent Serviceberry fruits before the Catbirds scarfed them up. The bird would eat them red but since I was waiting for nice dark blue ripe ones I didn't get too many. But the birds missed afew so I was quick.

I couldn't believe how much fruit the shrubs set. After all, this is their first full year in the garden because I planted them last Summer. Anyway, I thought the fruit was sweeter than a Blueberry but blander tasting to me than a Blueberry. Also the fruits are very small compaired to the Blueberries I have in my yard. Also, I did not find it 'seedy' at all as I couldn't tell if there were any actual seeds in what I was eating. I have no idea if other varieties would taste better as the Regents were all I could get to try.

Next year I hope to get fruit to compair from my Honeywood and Smokey Serviceberry as well as the Regent. Taste tests will follow.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2003 at 7:54PM
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chills71(Zone 6b Mi)

I have found a serviceberry tree (small tree, about 8 feet tall) in a strip mall nearby. The fruit is currently ripe and quite tasty.

I can't wait for my own serviceberries to get large enough to produce!

~Chills

    Bookmark   July 2, 2003 at 9:23AM
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nurblet(z5/6 Upstate NY)

This is a great thread! Lots of information. I have 2 serviceberry lamarckii that bluebirds, catbirds, and mockingbirds love. They've been nice enough to leave a few berries for us. I have 4 regents that I planted this spring that hopefully will flower next year.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2003 at 7:20PM
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newyorkrita(z6b/7a LI NY)

Christie-- Did you plant any of the Serviceberries yet?

    Bookmark   September 17, 2003 at 1:37PM
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christie_sw_mo(Z6)

Guess I hadn't checked this forum for awhile. I didn't see your post Rita. I planted three little ones this spring that will be shrubs but I'm still considering planting a serviceberry tree of some sort. I like multitrunked trees but I have to decide what I want first.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2003 at 6:59PM
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tahoejoe(North NV)

How bad are the thorns on the serviceberry?

    Bookmark   November 12, 2003 at 12:24PM
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lucky_p

tahojoe,
No thorns on a serviceberry - they're in the same family with apples & pears(OK, I realize some seedling pears are fairly thorny).

    Bookmark   November 13, 2003 at 10:34AM
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newyorkrita(z6b/7a LI NY)

From my experience, Regent Serviceberries flower very small and are quickly very productive. I had planted 4 large sized Regent shrubs in 2002. In the spring of 2003 they flowered and fruited like crazy. But I wanted more Serviceberries so I made a new garden bed and planted seven small Regents that I was able to find at a local Nursery. They were just potted up sticks about 8 inches tall when I bought them. Put on growth nicely during the summer last year. This Spring every one of the seven littler guys is loaded with blossums on the small shrubs. The larger Regents are even more full of blossums than last year so I can't praise the Regent variety enough!!

I have Honeywood and Smokey varieties that I planted as nice sized shrubs in Fall of 2002 that are also going to be blooming this spring. Not anywhere near the number of blooms that the Regents have. The Graniflora hybred Serviceberry I also planted in the summer of 2002, at the same time as the Regents flowered alittle last year but this year is loaded with blooms almost ready to open. They will be the first serviceberry to bloom in my yard, as they were last year.

The potted up little guys haven't broken dormancy yet. Those were the Allegheny Serviceberry that were selling as 6 inch seedlings from Oikos Tree Crops I bought last Spring. But I also put in 12 of the Northern Juneberry (A. gaspensis) from Oikos last year that were really small. They are leafed out this spring but no blooms yet. Didn't really expect them to bloom but hoping for next spring.

A local nursery I like to go to has Serviceberry 'Rainbow Pillar' and 'Robin Hill' listed on their website that they will have this year. Going to check them out. It's the same nursery that I got the small Regents locally last year.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2004 at 6:59PM
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lostman(z7a/b GA)

Newyorkrita,

How would you rate the fruit quality of Regent?

    Bookmark   April 18, 2004 at 2:45PM
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newyorkrita(z6b/7a LI NY)

I will do taste tests this spring of the quality of the different fruit types.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2004 at 7:58PM
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newyorkrita(z6b/7a LI NY)

Well, I was able to actually EAT fruit of my Serviceberries this year as the birds haven't been eating all the fruit.

The Grandiflora is not ripe yet so I haven't been able to try that but I have had lots of Regent fruit and some of the Honeywood. The Regent fruits so heavily that I have been eating ripe berries off the shrubs everyday even though the Mockingbirds and Robins eat on them too.

Honeywood is sweeter than Regent with a stronger taste. The Regent berries are the largest of the two with a milder taste. Somewhat bland tasting to my opinion but still good for eating fresh. I much prefer the taste of Blueberries that are just starting to ripen now.

Still, not everyone is the same. My neighbor tried some and liked them. After mistaking them for Blueberries, told me he did not like Blueberries. I told him they were Serciceberries and try some. So the Regents were a big hit, he loved them.

I guess there is no way of knowing how each indivual would rate each one without trying them.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2004 at 12:35PM
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halldj

I'm thinking about planting a serviceberry in a fairly large space. I would like one thats gets fairly tall as well as wide. Which kind is the tallest?

    Bookmark   August 4, 2004 at 8:45AM
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cornpost(z5IA.)

Has anyone ever tried ForestFarm in Oregon for Serviceberries?

    Bookmark   August 4, 2004 at 11:11PM
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newyorkrita(z6b/7a LI NY)

The Serviceberries around here and starting to bloom.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2005 at 10:47PM
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christie_sw_mo(Z6)

I'm going to have berries this year! : )

    Bookmark   April 30, 2005 at 12:04PM
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njbiology

Hi,

Isn't Amelanchier x grandiflora 'Autumn Brilliance' imune to Apple Cedar Rust? I read this many times.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2008 at 11:01PM
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lucky_p

NO. I've seen heavy infections of rust on AB - with the fruits converted to ugly fungal fruiting bodies. Didn't really notice any significant lesions on leaves or stems, but the fruits were hard hit.
I've got some row-run A.x grandiflora seedlings(from the now-defunct Bear Creek Nursery) that I planted at my kids' elementary school 10 years or so ago - fruiting heavily this year; most fruit were OK, but a few were rust-infected.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2008 at 11:25AM
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dkgp

There hasn't been much activity on this thread recently, but I saw the recent posting and I'm curious how all the taste tests turned out... Also, I've recently planted six serviceberries from St. Lawrence Nurseries, Autumn Brilliance, Princess Diana, Prince William (canadensis), as well as Nelson, Regent and Success (alnifolia). I have apples as well, here in MN. Does anyone know how seriously I need to worry about rust here?

    Bookmark   June 18, 2008 at 10:23PM
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lucky_p

dkgp,
The question for you is, how common is eastern redcedar(Juniperus virginiana) in your area? If it's present in the surrounding land or wildscape, then rust infection is a possibility; if uncommon, then you may be home free.
Around here, redcedars are everywhere - and I see rust on apples, quince, mayhaws, hawthorns, flowering quince, and on some serviceberries. I've not noticed rust on my alnifolia types, or on the A.laevis trees in town, but have seen it on A.obovata and A.x grandiflora.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2008 at 6:01PM
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ekp3

Just curious to find out what are people's experiences with A. canadensis, specifically in terms of growth rate and size. Considering one as a foundation planting, but don't want something that would get as large (wide mostly) as A. x grandiflora.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2008 at 10:26PM
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tigerj

I just planted a couple of serviceberries in early summer. They were purchased from a native plant nursery at a reasonable price, but are not named cultivars. One is a Saskatoon Serviceberry (Amelanchier alnifolia) and the other is a common or Downy Serviceberry (Amelanchier arborea). There are a number of other varieties too. The variety that is most often planted for human consumption is the Saskatoon Serviceberry. It generally grows as a large shrub rather than a tree, and has a number of named cultivars. Among the named cultivars, Regent is one of the smaller ones, and thus easier to net for protection from birds. Saint Lawrence Nursery in Potsdam carries a number of named cultivars with good descriptions.

Among larger varieties, the Allegheny Serviceberry is said to be juicier and sweeter than the Downy Serviceberry according to one internet source, though I can't recall which one.

The ones I planted were pot grown seedlings, about 15 inches tall. The Saskatoon Serviceberry already had berries on the seedling when I purchased it. They ripened within a couple of weeks after I planted it, so I got an early taste. We have deer where I am, and they like to munch on serviceberry twigs, so if you live where deer will frequent your yard, you'll need to provide protection. especially to seedlings. I use Irish Spring deodorant soap, which seems to work pretty well. I hung a half a bar by the Saskatoon Serviceberry, and the deer haven't touched it. I didn't get the soap hung by the Downy Serviceberry, and within a couple days it had been nibbled. Fortunately damage was minor, and I quickly got a bar of soap out by it. The deer have left it alone since then.. This is a very cost effective solution too. Half a bar of soap will last a couple years where I live, though we average 35-40 inches of rain annually

    Bookmark   July 15, 2013 at 10:28PM
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