The Berry from the Prairie
Saskatoons (Amelanchier alnifolia), also known as service berries, juneberries, shadbush and prairie berry, among others are native to North America and have an extensive range both in longitudinally and latitudinally. They can be found as far North as Alaska, with most of their preferred habitat being in western and central Canada. However, growing cultivars for agricultural production and as a decorative plant extends their natural habitat across Canada and the United States, all the way to Maine. They can withstand very cold temperatures, and their recommended Canadian Hardiness Zones range from 1-3 depending on the variety. Saskatoons were an important resource for Indigenous peoples, and today they are used commercially in many food products, like jams, pies and tarts, and are delightful eaten fresh as well.
Less picky than blueberries, these apple-cousins can grow in many soil types and climatic conditions. However, they do not do well in heavy clay soils. After planting a saskatoon sapling, you can expect a first harvest after three years, and provided it remains healthy and happy, a shrub will produce for over 30 years! They are adapted to partial shade, but yields may be higher if they are in full sun. Wildlife also finds saskatoons to be quite tasty, so protecting them from deer, birds and mice will aid in increasing yield and plant longevity.
Being self-fertile, saskatoons make a lovely decorative shrub bearing clusters of white flowers in spring and will still produce fruit on its own in summer. When fall comes around, the leaves turn a brilliant orangey-red. Their form varies from short, compact shrub to more tree-like reaching a max height of approximately 10m. There are four varieties that we produce at FloraMaxx: Honeywood, Northline, Smoky and Thiessen. All were bred in Canada and taste great!
If you are interested learning more, please visit the plant information page of our website, and contact us (email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-778-754-6299) if you are looking to purchase from us.