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Downy Serviceberry

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Latin Name- Amelanchier Selection Hardy Planting Zone- 2-9 Mature Height- 6-25 ft Width- 4-20 ft Sun or Shade- Full Sun

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Here's how your plants will look on arrival. All plants are dormant with no leaves or foliage.

Downy Serviceberry - Amelanchier Arborea

The Downy Serviceberry, or Amelanchier arborea, is a tree native to the eastern portion of the North American continent. Its unique name is derived from a traditional custom in the Appalachian region, encompassing much of its growing territory. The settlers of the area would hold memorial services for the dead each year when the tree was in bloom. Before cultivation, the Downy Serviceberry was found mostly along watercourses, or at the edge of forests. The tree, sometimes classified as a shrub, can also be found on plateaus and slopes.

The growing region for the Downy Serviceberry stretches from the southern reaches of Quebec and Ontario down to the Gulf states of the American south, generally following the spine of the Appalachian range. The trees have been found as far west as Texas and Minnesota. The seedlings tend towards a smooth, gray bark, with red tinges, that ages into a more robust, scalier skin. The leaves are often likened to that of an apple tree, 1 to 3 inches long, with a simple, elliptical shape. The fuzzy underside of the leaves, unlike the smooth tops, gives the shrub its downy moniker. Each spring, the leaves bud with a silvery tint before darkening in the summer months. It is the fall when the tree reaches its most colorful, the leaves morphing into vivid oranges, reds, and yellows.

The Downy Serviceberry also flowers, albeit briefly, usually in April. The decorative, white flowers, growing up to 4 inches in length, hang in delicate clusters, but the blooms last for just a few days. The bulbs are replaced with pomes by late June. The small, fleshy fruits most resemble berries as they ripen from green to dark purple before they are scattered and eaten by songbirds.

For cultivation purposes, the trees do best in more natural settings, with lots of sunlight. Adaptable to most types of acidic soils, a Downy Serviceberry will grow up to 10 feet within the first five years.

The Downy Serviceberry is a favorite tree and can be found growing in many parts of the United States. They do well in most soil conditions but have a preference for moist, well-drained soils. In the springtime, these trees produce a stunning white bloom that is exquisite. The foliage has a downy texture on the underside of the leaves. They also provide a fruit that will ripen in summer. These are deciduous trees and will change foliage color to brilliant yellows, reds or oranges before losing their leaves. They also attract wildlife.