February, 2020: Saskatoon Serviceberry
Erie Colorado area landscapes – plant of the month
Saskatoon Serviceberry or Amelanchier alnifolia is a large deciduous upright multi-stemmed shrub that shows well in all four seasons. Vibrant white flowers are some of the earliest and most showy in the landscape. The plant’s large stature allows it to stand out from other shrubs with its early season bloom. It follows with large, juicy blue berries which are edible, and finishes the season with vibrant yellow/orange to red foliage. Hardy down to zone 4, it is a great choice for larger Erie, Colorado landscapes where filling in some space or for privacy is necessary. It tolerates a large range of soils, will handle full sun to part shade, and is sturdy to withstand Colorado’s winter winds.
Its soil requirements are minimal, though it does not like to have its feet wet for prolonged periods. It can handle some drought. It will sucker some, but if maintained in the landscape, the suckers can be pruned out. The plant is easily shaped into a vase shape via minor annual pruning. It will get large as can be seen in this picture. This probably wasn’t the best location for this species, but it has been kept pruned up and out of the way for the most part. They can reach 15’ high and wide in a matter of 10 years or less under the right conditions. This specimen is on the north side of the home. The plant’s leaves have a round, or slightly ovate shape, lightly serrated, with a light green color during the spring and summer months. If planting native plants in the landscape is a priority, and the space permits, try Saskatoon Serviceberry or one of the cultivars.