Western Serviceberry (Amelanchier alnifolia)
As with the Downy Serviceberry, the Western Serviceberry suffers from an identity crisis. It can be called juneberry, Pacific serviceberry, pigeonberry, rocky mountain servicetree, sarvice, sarviceberry, saskatoon, saskatoon serviceberry, western service, western serviceberry, or western shadbush. One of the more common names, “shadbush” was given to the Serviceberry Tree by early settlers, who associated its blooming with April shad runs.
A bit larger in size but similar in appearance to the Downy Serviceberry, this is an extremely hardy shrub that can be grown in a variety of conditions. The fall foliage color is yellow to red. The white flowers are produced before the plants come into leaf, and are usually produced so abundantly that the whole plant turns white. By late June, or more commonly early to mid July, the plants will usually be carrying large crops of fruits. These fruits are soft, sweet and juicy with a taste that reminds one of apples. Besides being good in jams and pies, the fruit can be dried and is quite sweet. The dried fruit can be used in the same ways as raisins.
Western Serviceberry Choices
Honeywood is an upright plant with larger fruit.
Regent is a small, mounded cultivar reaching a height of about 5 feet and a spread of about 6 feet.
Smokey is a cultivar grown for its large, edible fruits.
Saskatoon - Perhaps the most exciting cultivar is the Saskatoon. This is one of the smaller- growing members of the genus, forming a deciduous shrub that seldom exceeds 10 feet in height and occasionally suckering to form a slowly spreading clump.