Shrub Serviceberry vs. Tree Serviceberry did I make a mistake?

marys1000June 18, 2006

Yesterday I brought home a shrub/multistemmed serviceberry and I'm wondering if I should have bought the tree type they had.

I need a small tree to provide shade for the house. I like the form of the shrub type though and thought if it was wider and tall it would provide more shade.

Did I make a mistake? Should I return it for the tree type? This is going to be downslope from the house about 35-40' southwest from the house so I need it to reach that max 20' mark.

Any experience out there? I tried the net but most of the websites don't get that specific between the two.


P.S. Does one grow faster than the other?

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Judy_B_ON(Ontario 5B)

There are a dozen or more different kinds of serviceberries, both shrub and tree. Some shrubs get to 4ft, some to 25 ft. Tree forms get from 10 ft to 40 ft, depending on species. You will need both latin names of the shrub you bought, then you can search that name to see which one you have.

The most commonly sold serviceberry is Amelanchier arborea, usually a multistemmed shrub that gets to 20 to 25 ft. It can be trained as a tree but will tend to send up root shoots. A. laevis, Allegany or smooth Serviceberry is a nice tree form getting to 30ft, if you can find it.

Return to the nursery, ask for the latin name and ask them how big it gets.

Below is a link to various serviceberries, click on any picture and follow the info to the bottom of the page where there will be more links, at least one will have ultimate height.

Here is a link that might be useful: Service Berries

    Bookmark   June 18, 2006 at 12:31PM
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The tag is labeled Canadensis Serviceberry. Is this enough?

The thing is this looks like the central/main "trunk" has been pruned so that it is a 4 stemmed "bush". They had some of these and some where they looked like a regular tree, like a maple or something.

Will this "bush" get as big because of the way its been pruned/trained at the nursery?

I could post a picture if that would help

    Bookmark   June 18, 2006 at 1:16PM
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saypoint(6b CT)

check out the link. Is it a species, or a particular cultivar? Ask at the nursery.

Here is a link that might be useful: link

    Bookmark   June 18, 2006 at 2:17PM
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Judy_B_ON(Ontario 5B)

A. canadensis is a large shrub/small tree. It can be trained to a tree but it will take consistent pruning. If the tree form at the nursery was also A. canadensis, you would need to continue to prune it yearly to maintain a tree shape.

Planting a small tree 40 ft from the house won't provide much shade to the house. Serviceberry trees get to about 25 ft hight with 15 ft wide crowns so can be planted 10 to 12 ft on the west side of the house to provide afternoon shade to the windows. I have a 10 year old A. laevis planted 10 ft from my house (got it free from our local Hydro-- they provide and plant them to shade house and save summer energy) and it is nowhere near threatening to touch the house and is about 18ft high now. It does provide nice dappled shade.

Here is a link that might be useful: A. canadensis

    Bookmark   June 20, 2006 at 10:10AM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Serviceberries labeled Amelanchier canadensis in a nursery have a good chance of actually being another species.

"Some cultivars sold under this species' name are probably really A. arborea selections. The latter species has been sold as "A. canadensis" for decades...A. x Lamarckii has also been sold as A. canadensis." - NORTH AMERICAN LANDSCAPE TREES

    Bookmark   June 20, 2006 at 10:19PM
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Well this is good info.
Unfortunately it takes me back to
"what moderate to fast growing tree or shrub
can I put in that spot"
And that's just really great about the
Canadensis really being something else.
how on earth are you supposed to properly site it?
Unfortunately the spots are already
determined by space I had left in the sod.
Should have moved the one up further to allow
more space between it and the one at the bottom
I plan on putting an oak in.
Thanks again,

    Bookmark   June 21, 2006 at 11:39AM
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Just to update as I was finally planting my Canadenseis shrub (I gave up trying to figure things out and put it in the original planned spot where it will be too far away to provide shade:(
and lo and behold way down by the root crown, buried by mulch was a white plastic id tag that said "laevis",
Doesnt that just beat all? What to believe hey? So there you go bboy.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2006 at 8:41AM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Most are pretty similar, that is a big part of the identification problem. With the more familiar ones at least there seem to be two basic types, roundleaf, upright habit and pointed leaf, spreading habit, with AA. alnifolia, canadensis and (maybe) arborea falling into the first group and many others, including common hybrids (A. x grandiflora cultivars) the second. You can buy some in either shrub (multistem) or tree (single stem/few stems with elevated head of branches) form depending on how they were trained in the nursery. Similar mature sizes for same kind will be acheived whether clumping or treelike, determined by site conditions as well as genetic makeup of plant.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2006 at 2:47PM
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