Allegheny Serviceberry Care – What Is An Allegheny Serviceberry Tree
By: Mary Ellen Ellis
Allegheny serviceberry (Amelanchier laevis) is a great choice for a small decorative tree. It doesn’t grow too tall, and it produces pretty spring flowers followed by fruit that attracts birds to the yard. With just a little basic Allegheny serviceberry info and care, you can add this tree to your landscape with great results.
What is an Allegheny Serviceberry?
Native to the eastern U.S. and Canada, the Allegheny serviceberry tree is a medium-sized tree with multiple stems that form a pretty shape in the landscape. It can grow well in yards and gardens throughout a wide range of climates, between USDA zones 8 and 10. Expect a serviceberry you plant to grow to about 25 to 30 feet (7-9 m.) tall. Growth rate is medium to fast for this deciduous tree.
Because it grows fairly quickly and is multi-stemmed and full, people often choose the Allegheny serviceberry to fill in spaces in a yard. It is also a popular choice for the flowers it produces in spring: drooping, white clusters that develop into purple-black berries. The sweet berries attract birds and the yellow-to-red color change makes this a showy, three-season tree.
Allegheny Serviceberry Care
When growing Allegheny serviceberry, choose a spot that is partially or fully shaded. This tree will not tolerate full sun well, nor will it tolerate dry conditions, showing stress with full sun and in droughts.
The soil it grows in should drain well and be loamy or sandy. If you choose to, you can prune your serviceberry to shape it like a small tree, or you can let it grow naturally and it will resemble more of a large shrub.
There are some pests and diseases to watch out for with Allegheny serviceberry. Potential diseases include:
- fire blight
- powdery mildew
- sooty mold fungus
- leaf blight
Pests that like serviceberry include:
- leaf miners
- spider mites
Poor conditions exacerbate diseases and pest infections, especially drought. Over-fertilizing with nitrogen can also worsen blight.
Give your Allegheny serviceberry the right conditions in which to grow, adequate water while the roots get established, and an occasional balanced fertilizer and you should enjoy a healthy, quick-growing, flowering tree.
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What is an Allegheny Serviceberry?
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An Allegheny serviceberry, or Amelanchier laevis, is a deciduous tree commonly found in the eastern U.S. and eastern Canada. It is fairly resistant to cold and dry weather, though it grows best in moist soil and a sunny environment. The tree's name refers to the purple berries it produces during the summer, which may be consumed by humans and animals alike. Other aesthetic qualities associated with the tree include its white flowers and color changing foliage. Those who keep these plants as garden shrubs generally grow them from seeds.
Between April and May, the Allegheny serviceberry produces lightly scented, white flowers. Technically, the plant is actually part of the Rose family. Its leaves initially begin with a somewhat purplish color and become bluish green during the spring time. In autumn, the leaves will sport an orange/red color. The tree is a perennial, meaning that it will grow back yearly, though it is described as having a relatively short lifespan when compared to other types of deciduous trees.
In the middle of summer, dark purple fruits will grow plentifully on Allegheny serviceberry trees. These fruits are edible and high in iron. Native Americans traditionally dried the berries to make a product similar to raisins. Sometimes they used them to make a food called pemmican, which was typically consumed during the winter. This preparation includes mixing serviceberries with meat and animal fat.
Birds and forest animals also enjoy eating serviceberries. The Allegheny serviceberry tree is known for attracting animals and insects, including bees. While susceptible to some insect damage, the tree usually survives even after being ravaged by bugs, sustaining only minimal cosmetic damage.
Though most often found in woods and meadows, the Allegheny serviceberry can be grown in gardens as well. Most commonly, the tree grows along the eastern portion of North America, including the American east coast and midwest, and parts of Canada. Its optimal growing conditions include moist, acidic soil, though it is fairly tolerant to dryness. The tree is also quite resistant to cold, surviving temperatures below -30° Fahrenheit (about -34° Celsius).
Allegheny serviceberries are often described as being somewhere in between a tree and a shrub. They grow between 15 and 30 feet tall (about 4.5 to 9 meters) with a similarly sized spread. It has been noted that the Allegheny serviceberry is often difficult to find in plant shops as a fully grown plant. Instead, the plant is most often propagated from seeds or roots.
Prune a Tree
Choose a straight healthy limb for the trunk of the tree. Use hand pruners or lopping shears as instructed in Step 1 of the previous section. Remove all other limbs at ground level around the selected tree trunk.
Remove the limbs from the trunk to a height of 4 to 5 feet from the ground with hand pruners or lopping shears. Cut close to the trunk, but do not cut into the bark and wood of the trunk.
Prune out dead, diseased, damaged or crossed limbs with lopping shears or hand pruners.
Remove drooping limbs that interfere with the passage of vehicles or people, or that spoil the shape of the tree.
Clean cut limbs and other debris from around shrub or tree. Use healthy green trimmings in compost. Destroy diseased and dead trimmings, to avoid spreading diseases.
If you can not plant the tree right away then take it out of the box and keep out of the extreme cold and extreme heat. Place where it will receive partial shade during the day and keep out of freezing weather at night. Give the plant a little water every other day until ready to plant.
Open the box and carefully remove your tree from the box. You will need to dig a hole no deeper than the height of the root ball and 2-3 times as wide as the root ball. You do not want the hole any deeper than the total height of the root ball. Planting too deep is detrimental to the survival and growth of your tree. Once your hole is dug gently remove the tree from the container. If your tree is difficult to remove check the bottom of the tree container to see if roots are protruding and remove them. It also helps to tap gently on the sides of the container to loosen the tree. Once you remove your tree from the container place the tree in the middle of the hole. You want to be sure the top of your root ball is at ground level or a little bit higher. Fill the hole back with the soil you dug out. Water the tree from a hose on low flow to settle the soil. Place a 3 foot circle of mulch around your tree at 2-3 inches deep. Be sure to keep the mulch at least 3 inches away from the trunk of the tree. Water your tree about once a week during the growing season to keep the soil most and your plant healthy.
Our forte at Ready to Grow Trees is being different than other online nurseries. Ready to Grow trees RediRoot© containers are naturally air pruned to ensure the tree grows, which stimulates the growth of new lateral roots and prepares trees for rapid growth upon shipment. A standard container provides limited growth to the tree. Here are the following benefits from our containers that stick out from the industry standard.
- Transplant Shock – Our container reduces transplant shock resulting in less plant loss overall and faster first-year growth.
- Rapid Nutrient Uptake- Well branched, fibrous root systems uptake water and nutrients more efficiently.
- Aeration- Aeration to the root zone air-prunes roots, preventing circling, and eliminating the need for root pruning during the transplant process.
- Ready to Grow – Air pruned root tips are calloused off and ready to explode with new growth.
Our size containers come in four different variances. 1, 3, 5, and 7-gallon containers.
Orders are shipped M-W to ensure that they arrive to customers before the end of the business week. Having plants in a warehouse or van trailer over weekends, particularly during the extreme summer and winter temperatures is detrimental to the health of the plants.
Plants are typically shipped the week following order placement unless otherwise specified by the customer. Ready-To-Grow-Trees will make every effort to ensure that each plant is shipped within one week following order placement.
Plants are packaged in a manner that ensures they are secure within the box to prevent jostling and associated damage during shipping.
Should your product arrive in a box that has been damaged during shipping, please contact Ready-To-Grow-Trees immediately to allow for a proper shipping claim. Ready-To-Grow-Trees is not responsible for any loss due to damage caused by shipping carriers, but will absolutely work with our customers to file a proper damage claim with each carrier. For all successful claims, Ready-To-Grow-Trees will ship a replacement product as soon as possible. If the exact product is no longer in stock, Ready-To-Grow-Trees will be happy to offer a replacement product of similar value. Please note the following requirements for any parcel damaged during shipping:
- We must receive notification within 24 hours of receipt of the damaged product that includes your order number, description of the damage and pictures of the damage.
- The customer must retain the damaged parcel (and plant) for a minimum of 7 days to allow the carrier to inspect the damage.
At this time, Ready-To-Grow-Trees is able to ship our plants only to states east of Texas. Refer to the shipping map below for availability.
Winter Shipping Schedule
All trees and shrubs are available to ship year-round, although we do restrict deliveries in the winter months based on the plant hardiness zones below:
Zone 3: No shipping from November 1 st through May 1 st
Zone 4: No shipping from November 1 st through May 1 st
Zone 5: No shipping from November 30 th through April 15 th
Zone 6: No shipping from December 31 st through March 15 th
Zones 7 and Up: Ships year-round. No shipping restrictions.
- During the shipping and transplanting process, it is not uncommon for plants to experience some minor leaf shedding or color change to the leaves. Simply remove the affected foliage and your plant will grow new, healthy foliage in due time. Claims associated with leaf shedding, leaf coloration or other leaf damage are not valid.
- Plants may be pruned prior to shipping to prevent damage to the plant during shipping. This will not have any detrimental effects on the plant, and in fact, typically minimizes stress on the plants during shipping and transplanting. Young plants typically do not have significant branching, but given time, proper branching will occur.
It is the customers responsibility to ensure that any plants ordered are suitable for the customers plant hardiness zone, soil conditions and growing site. Plant hardiness zone maps are provided by Ready-To-Grow-Trees are based on USDA guidelines and are offered as a courtesy to our customers. Other information provided by Ready-To-Grow-Trees is for reference only. We strongly encourage all customers to do the proper homework to make sure you have all the information you need before purchasing. Some factors to take into consideration are microclimates, extreme elevations, wind protection, mulching and snow cover.
Allegheny Serviceberry - multi stem
This Tree is not available for Sale at this time through Bower & Branch. Bower & Branch provides this information for reference only. Please check back with us or contact us for more detail.
Light and airy by nature, Allegheny Serviceberry was made for gardens (and gardeners) that don't take themselves too seriously. Frothy white flowers erupt in early spring, much to the delight of the first pollinators of the year. Glossy leaves emerge later and flutter in the breezes that blow. Songbirds swoop in for the juicy blue-black fruits as soon as they are ripe. And sizzling red-orange fall color makes a joyous spectacle. Add Allegheny Serviceberry to informal mixed borders, transitional areas near woodlands, children's play spaces, native plant gardens, even large containers! Evergreen companions provide a nice counterpoint.
Serviceberry may not be a household word, but this Tree is more common than you think. There are species of Serviceberries that are native to every state of the Union except for Hawaii. In some areas, they are called Shadbush, because they bloom with the spawning of the shad fish. They are also known as Juneberries for the period when you should look for their sweet fruit. Allegheny Serviceberry grows wild from Minnesota to the eastern coast of Canada and south to Kansas, Alabama, and Maryland. It typically becomes a shrubby, multi-stemmed Tree.
Don't let the birds have all the fun! Grab some Allegheny Serviceberry fruits for your morning cereal. These blueberry-like morsels are a delightful seasonal treat that you won't find at the grocery store. Plus, they're loaded with vitamin C and valuable antioxidants!
How to Grow
Fall color on the Allegheny Serviceberry will be most intense in full sun, but the foliage quality will be best if the Tree receives some shade during the hottest part of the day. The soil should be enriched with organic matter, moist but well drained. A generous layer of wood chips or shredded bark mulch will help to hold in moisture and moderate temperatures in the root zone. Irrigate with the Bower & Branch Elements ® Watering System and feed with Elements ® Fertilizer to get your Tree off to a good start. Keep trimmers and other lawn equipment away from the trunk, as the bark of Allegheny Serviceberry -- like all Serviceberries -- is thin and vulnerable to damage.