Amelanchier arborea

Downy Serviceberry


Bare Root Plants
Out of Stock

Downy Serviceberry is among the first trees to bloom in the spring, bursting with beautiful white flowers that festoon the entire canopy.  The lovely veil of blooms gives way to small pome fruits that blush red and then darken to a ripe purple-black in late summer.  These fruits show a large degree of variance in berry quality: some are juicy and sweet-tart - perfect for preserves and baking - while others can be dry and flavorless.  All are in high demand and difficult to pluck before the birds consume them.  This small tree is named for the particularly soft, fuzzy undersides on new leaves.  The foliage turns a coppery or burgundy color in the fall.

Remarkably hardy and surprisingly tolerant, Amelanchier arborea grows in any type of sun exposure.  It is more likely to reach it’s full 25 foot height potential in full or partial sun.  This tree prefers drier sites, but handles medium soil moisture as long as there is plenty of particulate matter for optimal drainage.  Although Downy Serviceberry often produces several stems, this species does not colonize from the roots; it spreads primarily by seed.  Protect seedlings from rabbits.

The genus Amelanchier is considered a keystone tree; these species host a haven of ecological interactions, providing food and shelter for a staggeringly high percentage of pollinating insects, the birds and small mammals that prey upon them, and it creates a foundational site for countless food webs.  Cedar Waxwings, Baltimore Orioles,  Hermit Thrush, Hairy Woodpecker, and Ruffed Grouse are all drawn to the berries.  Some mammals that are attracted to Downy Serviceberry for the fruits and vegetation include a host of rodents, Black Bear, White-Tailed Deer, and American Moose. 

Downy Serviceberry is a hard and heavy wood.  It was historically used to make tool handles.

Other common names in use include: Juneberry and Shadbush (not to be confused with Shadblow). 

Live Plant Shipping Table

Spring Fall Age/Size
Dormant Bare Roots
April/May October 1 year/12"

Amelanchier arborea - Downy Serviceberry

Map Key

Present in state
Present but introduced in county
Present and native in county; not rare
Not present in state
Present and native in county; rare
Species extirpated (historic)
State or county listed as noxious
Present in state; exotic

This map shows the native and introduced (adventive) range of this species. Given appropriate habitat and climate, native plants can be grown outside their range.

5 Questions asked on Amelanchier arborea

With the size of transplant, how long will it take this plant to reach maturity, or at least 10 feet tall?
Thanks for writing, Jena. Our website features photos of the average size of most transplants that we sell as bare-root plants. Click on the thumbnail photo that appears on the left of the larger photo on the species’ details page.

The transplants of most shrubs and trees that we sell come as “whips” or single-leader young plants that usually have 12-24” of top growth. Development of these young plants will vary with seasons and site. I would estimate that this species could reach 10 feet in height in 3 to 5 growing seasons.
Would you say this species is more adapted to drier sites with well-drained soil than the other Amelanchier species?
Where they occur naturally, Amelanchier arborea (Downy Serviceberry) and Amelanchier laevis (Allegheny serviceberry) are often found growing side-by-side in well-drained soils. Either of these two species would be a good choice.
Do these self-pollinate and will a single tree produce maximal blooms and fruit, or are multiples necessary? Thanks!
Hi Lisa. Downy Serviceberry is a self-pollinating specimen; a single tree will produce blooms and fruits.
If I order this now when will it ship? It is too cold to plant it now
Hi Virginia. We start shipping bare root plants in early April; it's too cold for us, too!
Will roots from black walnut affect growth
Hi Debbie. Downy Serviceberry tolerates the juglone produced by Black Walnut Tree.


Growing your own plants from seed is the most economical way to add natives to your home. Before you get started, one of the most important things to know about the seeds of wild plants is that many have built-in dormancy mechanisms that prevent the seed from germinating. In nature, this prevents a population of plants from germinating all at once, before killing frosts, or in times of drought. To propagate native plants, a gardener must break this dormancy before seed will grow.

Each species is different, so be sure to check the GERMINATION CODE listed on the website, in the catalog, or on your seed packet. Then, follow the GERMINATION INSTRUCTIONS prior to planting. Some species don't need any pre-treatment to germinate, but some species have dormancy mechanisms that must be broken before the seed will germinate. Some dormancy can be broken in a few minutes, but some species take months or even years.

Seed dormancy can be broken artificially by prolonged refrigeration of damp seed in the process of cold/moist STRATIFICATION. A less complicated approach is to let nature handle the stratifying through a dormant seeding, sowing seeds on the surface of a weed-free site in late fall or winter. Tucked safely beneath the snow, seeds will be conditioned by weathering to make germination possible in subsequent growing seasons.

To learn more, read our BLOG: How to Germinate Native Seeds

Dormant Bare Root Plants

We dig plants when they are dormant from our outdoor beds and ship them April-May and October. Some species go dormant in the summer and we can ship them July/August. We are among the few still employing this production method, which is labor intensive but plant-friendly. They arrive to you dormant, with little to no top-growth (bare-root), packed in peat moss. They should be planted as soon as possible. Unlike greenhouse-grown plants, bare-root plants can be planted during cold weather or anytime the soil is not frozen. A root photo is included with each species to illustrate the optimal depth and orientation. Planting instructions/care are also included with each order.

Download: Installing Your Bare-Root Plants

Potted Plants

3-packs and trays of 32, 38, or 50 plants leave our Midwest greenhouses based on species readiness (being well-rooted for transit) and order date; Spring shipping is typically early May through June, and Fall shipping is mid-August through September. Potted 3-packs and trays of 38 plugs are started from seed in the winter so are typically 3-4 months old when they ship. Trays of 32/50 plugs are usually overwintered so are 1 year old. Plant tray cells are approximately 2” wide x 5” deep in the trays of 38 and 50, and 2.5" wide x 3.5" deep in the 3-packs and trays of 32; ideal for deep-rooted natives. Full-color tags and planting & care instructions are included with each order.

Download: Planting and Care of Potted Plants

*PLEASE NOTE: we are a mail order nursery and have no retail facilities, but you may pick up your order if prior arrangements are made. Pick up orders are subject to **MN Sales Tax.

Shipping & Handling Charges

SEED $100.00 and under: $5.00
Retail SEED orders over $100.00 ship free!

Custom seed mixes or discounted seed sales over $100, add 5% of the total seed cost
(for orders over $1,000 a package signature may be required)

BARE ROOT and POTTED PLANTS $50.00 and under: $9.00
over $50.00: 18% of the total plant cost. (For orders over $1,000 a package signature may be required.)

TOOLS and BOOKS have the shipping fee included in the cost of the product (within the contiguous US).

**We are required to collect state sales tax in certain states. Your state's eligibility and % will be calculated at checkout. MN State Sales Tax of 7.375% is applied for orders picked up at our MN location. Shipping & handling charges are also subject to the sales tax.

Shipping Season

SEED, TOOLS and BOOKS are sent year-round. Most orders ship within 1-3 business days.

BARE ROOT PLANTS are shipped during optimal transplanting time: Spring (April-May) and Fall (Oct). Some ephemeral species are also available for summer shipping. Since our plants are field-grown, Nature sets the schedule each year as to when our season will begin and end. We fill all orders, on a first-come, first-serve basis, to the best of our ability depending on weather conditions beyond our control.

POTTED PLANTS (Trays of 32/38/50 plugs and 3-packs) typically begin shipping early May and go into June; shipping time is heavily dependent on all the species in your order being well-rooted. If winter-spring greenhouse growing conditions are favorable and all species are well-rooted at once, then we ship by order date (first come, first serve). We are a Midwest greenhouse, and due to the challenges of getting all the species in the Mix & Match and Pre-Designed Garden Kits transit-ready at the same time, we typically can't ship before early May. Earlier shipment requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

*We are unable to ship PLANTS (bare root or potted) outside the contiguous US or to CALIFORNIA due to regulations.


We ship using USPS, UPS and Spee Dee. UPS and Spee Dee are often used for expediting plant orders; they will not deliver to Post Office Box numbers, so please also include your street address if ordering plants. We send tracking numbers to your email address so please include it when you order.



Germination Code
Life Cycle
Sun Exposure
Full, Partial, Shade
Soil Moisture
Medium, Medium-Dry, Dry
25 feet
Bloom Time
April, May
Pollinator Favorite: butterflies, moths, bees, wasps, beetles
Bird Favorite: seeds, insects, fruit, nectar, nesting, perch
USDA Zones
Plant Spacing
Catalog Code