amelanchier Laevis or Autumn Brilliance thoughts?

lolagardnerMarch 1, 2011

Hi All,

I'm hoping someone can help me out here. I've decided on serviceberry as a specimen tree for my small brooklyn back yard. I'm looking for something that is going to max out around 15-20'. I have slightly acidic clay loam and part sun. My garden center has a beautifully shaped laevis which my landlord prefers and some nice autumn brilliance. They may possibly be getting a Diana as well. I want to plant the tree before I seed the lawn so I will not see it in leaf or flower. Anyone have a recommendation either way? Its so difficult finding info on size and habit of the amelanchier. Some sites list laevis as 40' and some list it as 15'. Any in ground experience would be helpful. If one is more abundant in fruit than the other that would be a plus. I only have room for one. I think autumn brilliance is self pollinating but I'm not sure about the laevis. In other words.. help!

Many thanks!

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lycopus(z5 NY)

In the wild A. arborea (one of the parents of A. x grandiflora) doesn't usually get very large. I'd say 20' is about average. Occasionally the rare specimen will be found that exceeds 40'. I would guess that 'Autumn Brilliance' was selected for having better than average fall color. Otherwise the flowering effect of A. arborea and A. laevis, or the hybrid between the two A. x grandiflora, is pretty much the same. Fruit quality seems to be better with some of the cultivars than wild ones but I couldn't give you specific names.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2011 at 1:41AM
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fatamorgana2121(Zone 5/6)

You may find useful info here if you are interested in having the plants for their edible fruit - which is so very yummy! I don't know why more people don't plant these trees - flowers, fruit, pleasing shape & size, hardy/easy care, and fall color. It's a grandslam in my opinion.


Here is a link that might be useful: GW Edible landscaping forum post

    Bookmark   March 3, 2011 at 9:05AM
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rhauser44(z6 MI)

In addition to being edible for humans, birds LOVE 'em too. Cedar Wax-wings and Robins will strip the tree of ripe berries within two days.

You really can't miss filling your yard with this shrub.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2011 at 10:06AM
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Thanks all! That thread was helpful fatamorgana. From my reading it seems that Autumn Brilliance meant to have good fungal resistance but at the same time I've read a lot of people have had problems with it in the real world. I believe the berries on this cultivar are meant to be tasty. It seems as though the laevis although taller may cast less shade because the branching startis higher up and the canopy is more open in the shade. However I'm getting the sense that 'autumn brilliance' is shorter. We get quite a bit of humidity and powdery mildew can be an issue. I'm still torn. I just read that 'Diana' has the best fungal resistance. I'd love to hear from the posters on forum link you sent me fatamorgana. A few people had just planted all three varieties.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2011 at 2:19PM
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fatamorgana2121(Zone 5/6)

Glad to help!

You may try posting to the edible landscaping forum (where the thread was from) to see if those posters or others have comments on the specific varieties.


    Bookmark   March 5, 2011 at 6:07PM
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I have three kinds- a. laevis columnus and a. arborea diana and a. canadensis.

Laevis has a great perfect tree shape and appears to have topped out at around 15 feet since I planted it back in 96-97.

Arborea is less tree like but also nice. Good fall color.

Canadensis produces the most fruit but has the shape of a tall shrub. its about 10 feet. the fruit taste like blueberries to me. about every other year this one gets some weird fungus disease that ruins the fruit.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2011 at 8:10PM
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Thanks for all the input! I went with the Laevis. It was such a pretty nicely branched little tree. I actually lucked out and found one that was about 7 ft. with a good rootball. I couldn't be happier. The buds are nice and fat. An added welcome surprise that I didn't read about is the tree's ever shifting bark color. Its particularly apparent in dreary overcast weather.. in the rain its bark is bright rose, on overcast days it is almost lavender and then at another glance its silver. All depending on time of day. How lovely. I can't wait to see the other seasons or maybe I can seeing as its so delightful now! What a welcome treat for the eye in March.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2011 at 12:39PM
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I'll be following this thread with interest, since I want to purchase one or maybe two this year. Lolagardner...I hope you come back to post every so often to give us updates on how you like your tree.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2011 at 7:52PM
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Yes I surely will Anitamo. If this tree performs in my conditions it deserves some recognition! Forgive me if I don't respond to posts quickly.. I can't figure out why gw doesn't tell me when I get responses. I'll figure it out I hope!

    Bookmark   April 1, 2011 at 9:58AM
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Check to make sure that the email address that GW has for you is correct.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2011 at 8:58AM
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