This week we were trying to guess which tree our nursery grows the most of, in volume, for the past several years. We all had our guesses, and when our tree grower Tim Clemens gave us the answer, we were all shocked! For evergreens, it was Green Giant Arborvitae, which we all said yes we could see that. But for actual deciduous trees, #2 was Heritage Birch (which we all thought was reasonable), and the #1 tree grown here (in volume) was Amelanchier x grandiflora ‘Autumn Brilliance’ clump form, which totally took us by surprise. Serviceberry (also known as Shadblow, shadbush, shadwood or sarvisberry, or just sarvis, juneberry, saskatoon, sugarplum or wild-plum, and chuckley pear), a great smaller tree no doubt, but the #1 most grown tree at the nursery? Wow! But if you look at this great smaller tree (clump form meaning 3 trunks), it certainly has a lot going for and can be used in so many places and conditions! Loaded with clusters of showy white flowers in spring, this one follows up with showy red-purple edible fruits, perfect to add to your morning cereal; get ‘em before the birds do! Then comes the glossy green foliage (medium sized oval leaves) which turn a brilliant red in the fall. The multi-stemmed version is perfect for a specimen tree, patio tree, closer to the home ornamental tree, street tree, and great in sun or partial shade. (Hardy Zone 4, 20-25’ h x 15’ w, selected from a native species.)
From Wilkipedia: The name serviceberry comes from the similarity of the fruit to the related European Sorbus. A fanciful etymology explains the name 'serviceberry' by noting that the flowers bloom about the time roads in the Appalachian mountains became passable, allowing circuit-riding preachers to resume church services. A similar etymology says that blooming serviceberry indicated the ground had thawed enough to dig graves, so burial services could be held for those who died in the winter when the only way to deal with the bodies was to allow them to freeze and wait for spring. Shadberry refers to the shad runs in certain New England streams, which generally took place about when the trees bloomed.