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TREES & plants

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 black fruit in late summer is attractive to many birds.

Botanical name: 
Amelanchier laevis
All Common Names: 
Allegheny serviceberry, smooth shadbush
Family (English): 
Rose
Family (Botanic): 
Rosaceae
Tree or Plant Type: 
  • Tree
Native Locale: 
  • Chicago area
  • Illinois
  • North America
Planting Site: 
  • Residential and parks
  • City parkway
  • Wide median
  • Under utility lines
Landscape Uses: 
  • Specimen
  • Massing
  • Mixed border
  • Patio/sidewalk
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
  • Zone 6
  • Zone 7
  • Zone 8
Acid Soils: 
  • Tolerant
Alkaline Soils: 
  • Moderately Tolerant
Salt Spray: 
  • Intolerant
Soil Salt: 
  • Intolerant
Drought Conditions: 
  • Intolerant
Poor Drainage: 
  • Tolerant
Foliage: 
  • Deciduous (seasonally loses leaves)
Ornamental Interest: 
  • Spring blossoms
  • Fall color
  • Edible fruit
  • Fragrant flowers
  • Showy fruit
  • Showy flowers
  • Attractive bark
Season of Interest: 
  • Mid spring
  • Late spring
  • Early fall
  • Mid 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: 

Size and Form

20 to 25 feet high and 15 to 18 feet wide; upright

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.

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.

Attracts birds & butterflies

Many birds are attracted to the fruit.
Larval host for striped hairstreak butterfly.

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 

Prince Charles   (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.