Thursday, April 14, 2011

Serviceberries in bloom!

From Brian Knedler:

The cherry blossoms are done, but I hope residents will notice the native Serviceberry trees in bloom, especially in Spring Park at 33rd and Shepherd. Also a nice one in 3800 block of 31st, 3000 block Taylor, and 4100 block 31st. The trees are also called shadbush because they bloom when the shad (a fish) is traveling up the local streams to spawn. They have lots of common names, but the Latin genus is Amelanchier. They are wonderful small trees or bushes. If you are going to purchase one, read up on the particular cultivar because some are more like shrubs and get multiple stems while others are more tree-like. They have an edible berry in summer (they are called Juneberry for that reason) and great fall color. They like a bit of shade since like the Redbuds (another native) they grow in the forests under other larger trees.  Redbuds are also blooming now. They tend to be more drought tolerant than the serviceberries.  The City Tree Commission has purchased a number of both serviceberry and redbud in the last 10 years. So, if you are looking for an alternative to Yoshino Cherry, consider the Serviceberry.

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