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TREES & plants

Allegheny serviceberry

White spring flowers of Allegheny serviceberry.

Allegheny serviceberry is a small native understory tree with four-season interest. The early white spring flowers, outstanding orange-red fall color, and striking gray bark make it a lovely specimen for any landscape. The edible purplish-black fruit in late summer is attractive to many birds.

This species is native to the Chicago region according to Swink and Wilhelm's Plants of the Chicago Region, with updates made according to current research.

This plant has some cultivated varieties. Go to list of cultivars.

Botanical name: 
Amelanchier laevis
All Common Names: 
Allegheny serviceberry, smooth shadbush, Juneberry
Family (English): 
Rose
Family (Botanic): 
Rosaceae
Tree or Plant Type: 
  • Tree
Foliage: 
  • Deciduous (seasonally loses leaves)
Native Locale: 
  • Chicago area, 
  • Illinois, 
  • North America
Planting Site: 
  • Residential and parks, 
  • City parkway, 
  • Wide median, 
  • Under utility lines
Landscape Uses: 
  • Massing, 
  • Mixed border, 
  • Parkway/street, 
  • Patio/sidewalk, 
  • Specimen, 
  • Utility
Size Range: 
  • Small tree (15-25 feet)
Mature Height: 
15-25 feet
Mature Width: 
15-25 feet
Light Exposure: 
  • Partial sun/shade (4-6 hrs light daily)
Hardiness Zones: 
  • Zone 4, 
  • Zone 5 (Chicago), 
  • Zone 6, 
  • Zone 7, 
  • Zone 8
Soil Preference: 
  • Moist, well-drained soil
Acid Soils: 
  • Tolerant
Alkaline Soils: 
  • Moderately Tolerant
Salt Spray: 
  • Intolerant
Soil Salt: 
  • Intolerant
Drought Conditions: 
  • Intolerant
Poor Drainage: 
  • Tolerant
Ornamental Interest: 
  • Spring blossoms, 
  • Fall color, 
  • Edible fruit, 
  • Fragrant flowers, 
  • Showy fruit, 
  • Showy flowers, 
  • Attractive bark
Season of Interest: 
  • Mid spring, 
  • Late spring, 
  • Early summer, 
  • Mid summer, 
  • Late summer, 
  • Early fall, 
  • Mid fall, 
  • Late fall
Flower Color & Fragrance: 
  • Fragrant, 
  • White
Shape or Form: 
  • Irregular, 
  • Multi-stemmed, 
  • Narrow, 
  • Round
Growth Rate: 
  • Moderate
Transplants Well: 
  • No
Wildlife: 
  • Birds, 
  • Insect pollinators, 
  • Mammals
More Information: 

Tree & Plant Care

 An understory tree best sited in part shade.
This is a great  tree for naturalizing.  Wonderful when mixed with conifers and hardwoods.
Intolerant of salt and drought.

Disease, pests and problems

No serious problems.

Disease, pest, and problem resistance

Tolerant of black walnut toxicity.

Native geographic location and habitat

C-Value: 8
Native to the Midwest and northeastern United States.
Commonly found in wooded areas.

Bark color and texture

Bark is smooth and silver-gray, with light vertical stripes.

Alleghany serviceberry (Amelanchier laevis)

Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture

Simple and alternate.  Oval leaves emerge with a distinctive red tinge before turning green to dark green. Fall color varies from yellow to orange to red.

Flower arrangement, shape, and size

Fragrant white flowers in May; held on loose clusters.

Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions

Small, dark purple, 3/8” berry-like fruit (pome)  is edible.

Cultivars and their differences 

“This plant is a cultivar of a species that is native to the Chicago Region according to Swink and Wilhelm's Plants of the Chicago Region, with updates made according to current research. Cultivars are plants produced in cultivation by selective breeding or via vegetative propagation from wild plants identified to have desirable traits."

Cumulus Allegheny serviceberry (Amelanchier laevis 'Cumulus'): 20 to 30 feet high and 15 to 20 feet wide; upright-oval form; flowers abundantly in spring;  yellow to orange-red fall color.

Lustre® Allegheny serviceberry (Amelanchier laevis 'Rogers'): 20-30 fett high and 15 to 20 feet wide; upright habit; flowers abundantly in spring; leaves emerge purplish, become shiny green in summer and turn to ornage and red in fall.

Prince Charles Allegheny serviceberry   (Amelanchier laevis ‘Prince Charles’):  20 to 25 feet high and 12 to 15 feet wide; upright form.  New leaves emerge bronzy-red, turning blue-green in summer, then change to an attractive orange-red fall color.

Spring Flurry® Allegheny serviceberry (Amelanchier laevis 'JFS-Arb'):  30 feet high by 20 feet wide; upright-oval form; orange fall color.
 

Related hybrids

The following are cultivars of Amelanchier x grandiflora, which is a hybrid between downy serviceberry (Amelanchier arborea) and Alleghany serviceberry (Amelanchier laevis).

Autumn Brilliance apple serviceberry (Amelanchier x grandiflora ‘Autumn Brilliance’):  20 to 25 feet high and wide;  red fall color.

Cole's Select apple serviceberry (Amelanchier x grandiflora ‘Cole's Select’): 20 feet high and 15 feet wide; upright, spreading habit; orange-red fall color; thick, glossy summer foliage.

Forest Prince apple serviceberry  (Amelanchier x grandiflora ‘Forest Prince’):  20 feet high and 15 feet wide;  oval habit and red-orange fall color. 

Princess Diana apple serviceberry  (Amelanchier x grandiflora ‘Princess Diana’):   20 to 25 feet high and 15 to 20 feet wide; upright habit, excellent red fall color.

Robin Hill apple serviceberry   (Amelanchier x grandiflora ‘Robin Hill’):  20 to 25 feet high and 12 to 15 feet wide ; upright-oval habit, red to yellow fall color.

 

Amelanchier laevis or Allegheny serviceberry