Plants & Trees

Amelanchier Ovalis, Serviceberry

Amelanchier Ovalis

Amelanchier ovalis

Known to me as Serviceberry you may know it as shadbush, shadwood or shadblow, wild pear, juneberry, saskatoon, sugarplum or wild-plum or chuckley pear

Amelanchier is native to temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere, growing primarily in early successional habitats. Hardy to -29°C

The tree is multi-stemmed, slow growing to about 5M The bark is grey smooth or fissuring when older. The leaves are deciduous.

The flowers have five white petals, 25 mm long, The flowers appear in early spring.

AmelanchierOvalisFlowers

The fruit is a berry-like, purple to nearly black at maturity, 15 mm diameter,  maturing in summer. The fruit of is excellent to eat raw, delectably sweet, tasting somewhat like a blueberry, strongly accented by the almond-like flavour of the seeds. The fruit is commonly used to make pies and jams.

AmelanchierOvalisFruit

Propagation is by seed, divisions, and grafting. Serviceberries graft so readily that grafts onto other genera, such as Crataegus and Sorbus, are often successful.

The wood is brown, hard, close-grained, and heavy. The heartwood is reddish-brown, and the sapwood is lighter in colour. It can be used for tool handles and fishing rods.

This variety was recommended to me by another permaculturist for its edible fruit and we will use it for that but we will also graft in to our hawthorn (Crataegus) hedge plants to increase the available wildlife and livestock food throughout our site. The leaves, flowers and fruit are all commonly browsed by dear and rabbits so make an excellent addition to hedge rows.

 

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