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TREES & plants

Downy serviceberry

Downy serviceberry leaves and flowers emerging in spring.
Downy serviceberry is a four-season plant offering white flowers in spring, small red berries in summer, excellent fall color and gray bark in winter. The fruit is usually eaten very quickly by 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."
Botanical name: 
Amelanchier arborea
All Common Names: 
downy serviceberry, juneberry, serviceberry
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, 
  • Wide median, 
  • Under utility lines
Landscape Uses: 
  • Utility, 
  • Specimen, 
  • Massing, 
  • Patio/sidewalk
Size Range: 
  • Small tree (15-25 feet)
Mature Height: 
15-25 feet
Mature Width: 
Variable
Light Exposure: 
  • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily), 
  • Partial sun/shade (4-6 hrs light daily)
Hardiness Zones: 
  • Zone 4, 
  • Zone 5 (Chicago), 
  • Zone 6, 
  • Zone 7, 
  • Zone 8, 
  • Zone 9
Soil Preference: 
  • Acid soil, 
  • Moist, well-drained soil
Acid Soils: 
  • Prefers
Alkaline Soils: 
  • Moderately Tolerant
Salt Spray: 
  • Moderately Tolerant
Soil Salt: 
  • Intolerant
Drought Conditions: 
  • Tolerant
Poor Drainage: 
  • Tolerant
Planting Considerations: 
  • Intolerant of pollution
Ornamental Interest: 
  • Spring blossoms, 
  • Fall color, 
  • Edible fruit, 
  • Showy flowers, 
  • Attractive bark
Season of Interest: 
  • Early winter, 
  • Mid winter, 
  • Late winter, 
  • Early spring, 
  • Mid spring, 
  • Late spring, 
  • Early summer, 
  • Mid summer, 
  • Late summer, 
  • Early fall, 
  • Mid fall, 
  • Late fall
Flower Color & Fragrance: 
  • White
Shape or Form: 
  • Narrow
Growth Rate: 
  • Moderate
Transplants Well: 
  • Yes
Wildlife: 
  • Game birds, 
  • Game mammals, 
  • Small mammals, 
  • Songbirds
More Information: 

Tree & Plant Care

Plants benefit from a mulch layer to conserve moisture and moderate soil temperatures.  Tolerates a wide range of conditions.

Disease, pests, and problems

Rust and leaf spots are occasional problems

Disease, pests, and problem resistance

Tolerant of black walnut toxicity.

Native geographic location and habitat

C-Value: 8

This species is common throughout the Midwest.  It is found in a variety of habitats.

Bark color and texture 

Silvery gray, smooth bark develops fissures as it ages.

Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture

Simple, alternate, 2 to 3 inch long, oval to elliptical shaped leaves.
Green leaves turn to redm yellow and orange in fall.

Flower arrangement, shape, and size

Numerous pink-tinged buds open to 5-petaled, white pendulous flowers in the spring.

Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions

The 1/3-inch edible fruit starts out green, changing to red, then blue-black in June.

 

 

Amelanchier arborea or Downy serviceberry