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Bring on the birds! Few trees satisfy berry-loving songbirds more completely than Serviceberry. This worthy native will attract every robin, mockingbird, and cedar waxwing on the block when the juicy, blue-black berries ripen in early summer, making for wonderful backyard wildlife-watching. In spring, Serviceberry is a feast for the eyes when it erupts in a cloud of frilly white flowers, and it’s a treat in fall, too. That’s when the pretty green leaves turn smoldering shades of orange and red. A lively, colorful, and small-growing tree for informal beds and borders. Sublime when planted in groups of three or more.
- Hardiness Zone: 4-8
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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. This species, The Lamarck Serviceberry, is a U.S. native, but its status is disputed. Some botanists consider it to be a natural hybrid, while others claim it is a distinct species. The birds don’t really care, and neither will you!
Don’t let the birds have all the fun. Grab some 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 your 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 the Lamarck Serviceberry—like all Serviceberries—is thin and vulnerable to damage.
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