Shadblow Service Berry, Downy Serviceberry, Canadian Serviceberry

Amelanchier canadensis

Family: Rosaceae (ro-ZAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Amelanchier (am-uh-LAN-kee-er) (Info)
Species: canadensis (ka-na-DEN-sis) (Info)
Synonym:Amelanchier canadensis var. subintegra
Synonym:Amelanchier lucida
View this plant in a garden



Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


20-30 ft. (6-9 m)


12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m)


USDA Zone 3a: to -39.9 C (-40 F)

USDA Zone 3b: to -37.2 C (-35 F)

USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)

USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us



Bloom Color:

White/Near White

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Mid Spring

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

5.1 to 5.5 (strongly acidic)

5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:

Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:

From softwood cuttings

From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse

Seed Collecting:

Remove fleshy coating on seeds before storing

Allow unblemished fruit to ripen; clean and dry seeds

Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:


Wasilla, Alaska

Prescott, Arizona

Apple Valley, California

San Anselmo, California

Denver, Colorado

Elizabeth, Colorado

Lewes, Delaware

Coeur D Alene, Idaho

Glen Ellyn, Illinois

Villa Park, Illinois

Chesterton, Indiana

New Albany, Indiana

Russell, Kentucky

Waldoboro, Maine

Lexington, Massachusetts

Nantucket, Massachusetts

Garden City, Michigan

Norway, Michigan

Saint Cloud, Minnesota

Saint Paul, Minnesota

Lambert, Montana

Annandale, New Jersey

Westwood, New Jersey

Santa Fe, New Mexico

Cassville, New York

Farmingdale, New York

Jefferson, New York

Rochester, New York

West Kill, New York

Penrose, North Carolina

Mantua, Ohio

Middletown, Ohio

Salem, Ohio

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Sand Springs, Oklahoma

Downingtown, Pennsylvania

Indiana, Pennsylvania

Mount Joy, Pennsylvania

Wayne, Pennsylvania

Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania (2 reports)

Arlington, Tennessee

New Haven, Vermont

Hazelhurst, Wisconsin

Verona, Wisconsin

Kinnear, Wyoming

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Jun 15, 2017, Adrienneny from Staten Island, NY (Zone 6b) wrote:

I planted several 2 foot tall serviceberry trees in our yard and elsewhere. The first year only one flowered and it flowered off-season in late summer because it may have been stressed. I witnessed a hummingbird use several serviceberry flowers then.

This is their second year. They all flowered and all produced fruits. The flavor is mild and remind me of nectarine. The robins enjoy them too. Two serviceberry trees showed signs of cedar rust in the fruits only. Our apple trees showed signs of in the leaves last year. All our trees are small enough to manually remove any signs of them as they develop. Hopefully it won't become a serious problem.


On Nov 14, 2014, RosemaryK from Lexington, MA (Zone 6a) wrote:

One of a limited number of small trees native to this continent that can grow in fairly deep shade under mature deciduous trees and a white pine. However, it does not fruit after about 15 years to establish. Visiters to the woodland garden seem to always notice and comment favorably about it anyway. The twisted trunks and fine foliage are distinguishing features.


On Dec 3, 2013, Rickwebb from Downingtown, PA wrote:

An irregular but neat, clean habit. The only possible problem is if the delicious fruit is borne, in June, over paved areas and will stain them for awhile. The fruit is loved by many birds and other wildlife, plus very edible for humankind. Serviceberry trees and shrubs do well in a range of well-drained soil that is acid or slightly alkaline of pH 5 to 7.5. They even do well in open, exposed, windy areas, despite normally growing along forest edges in nature. I recognize this species because it has more trunks and more slender ones than the other tree Serviceberry species, often 10 to 20, though fewer is possible. Grows about 1.5 feet/year and lives about 100 or more years. Like other serviceberry trees, this native plant should be used more in landscapes. It has a large native range fro... read more


On May 26, 2009, wadeinthewater from Verona, WI (Zone 4b) wrote:

We find this tree grows well in heavy clay as well. I do top dress with compost but the nursery said not to amend the soil when planting so it can learn to live in the place it's planted, it took a few years to get established but now it's beautiful. And why it's called Serviceberry? Graves couldn't be dug in the winter so when this tree bloomed it signaled that the graves could be dug, the Funeral "service" was delayed until the spring, hence the name "Service Berry".


On May 25, 2009, so1ange from Zaandijk,
Netherlands wrote:

I have been looking for this plant ever since a Canadian friend of mine gave me a pot of Saskatoon Berry Jam. When I saw Shadblow Service Berry in the newsletter I had to check it out because it is such a strange name, and I was so happy to see that this IS the Saskatoon Berry! I don't really care for sweet foods but this stuff is delicious, rates right up there with Mullberries in my book. I hope it will do well in my northern european garden, cause I am going to purchase the seeds immediately.

anyone know why this underrated fruit it is called a 'service' berry?


On May 25, 2009, susierosey from Millstone, NJ wrote:

We have three Serviceberries planted five years ago. One multi stemmed tree was badly damaged by rubbing deer the first fall but is slowly recovering now that it is protected by early fall. This is the first year I have not (yet) experienced rust, probably because I treated all with "Serenade" several times last year and was diligent about removing infected berries and leaves. My biggest problem has been tackling the aphids which seem to return every year. I have used ladybugs, water spray and organic control. It is a lovely small tree but on my property requires attention.


On Sep 2, 2008, mainline123 from Wayne, PA (Zone 6b) wrote:

This is an excellent shrub. I planted three as understory in my front yard to provide some privacy from the road. The have just enough foliage to provide privacy without creating a barricade. They have bloomed beautifully. The location has well amended soil and has fairly consistent moisture.


On Sep 1, 2004, ILvillapark from Villa Park, IL wrote:

This native shrub/tree works well in most situations. However, the more extreme hot temperatures of Illinois summers require proper placement of this tree. An exposed, dry site should be avoided. Dappled shade and moist soil make for a happier plant. I had to relocate mine after it struggled for over a year and a half. Watering helped but it never seemed to do enough. The new location was less exposed to direct sun and the tree responded positively. It stopped losing leaves and started to branch out.


On Jul 26, 2004, jq from White Lake, MI wrote:

A wonderful small tree or shrub. I would recommend this group of natives to any gardener. Birds flock to the ripening berries in June (southeast Michigan). Orioles, Catbirds, Robins, Tanagers, Eastern Bluebirds, just to name a few. If you can beat the birds to the berries they make a good tasting, somewhat chewy, pie filling. These small trees and shrubs sucker - it is their nature - and the resulting shape is very attractive. Trimming off excessive suckers will not harm the tree. However, do allow Serviceberry to have several main trunks - it is not meant to look like an oak. Dainty white flowers cover the tree early in spring. The small ovate leaves turn a gorgeous apricot color in fall and never require raking. Simply run your mower over them and mulch them into lawn food.
... read more


On Jan 10, 2003, lupinelover from Grove City, OH (Zone 6a) wrote:

This is very worthy of growing, despite its suckering tendencies. The flowering and later fruiting are attractive to wildlife. Serviceberries are edible to humans, too, and make wonderful fruit compotes and preserves.