Amelanchier arborea

Amelanchier arborea Downy Serviceberry


 Confirmed Request

The 5-petal, brillant white, early flowers appear before the leaves. This relatively small tree (15-25 feet when mature) will sucker and have a bushier appearance if it is not pruned.  

Dormant bare root plants ship each year during optimal transplanting season: Fall (October) or Spring (April/May). Spring 2020: this bare root tree is 2 years old and we trim to a height of approximately 18".
Amelanchier arborea - Downy Serviceberry

Map Key

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.

4 Questions asked on Amelanchier arborea

Q Jena Erie • February 1 With the size of transplant, how long will it take this plant to reach maturity, or at least 10 feet tall?
A Prairie Moon • February 1 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.
Q Anne • February 20 How far apart should I plant these for a good screening between lots?
A Prairie Moon • February 21 Thanks for writing, Anne. Spacing of 10-12 feet between transplants should allow enough space for Downy Serviceberry to develop into an effective and lovely screen.
Q Maggie • July 26 Are the berries edible for people as well?
A Prairie Moon • July 26 HI Maggie! Yes, the berries on Amelanchier species can be used for human consumption. Birds and small mammals will also love the berries! As with any medicinal/edible question, we always caution our customers to be absolutely certain on the ID of a plant before you eat it.

Cultivars are plentiful these days; this is such a popular, small landscaping tree because of the early spring flowers and fall, edible berries. You should be able to find cultivated varieties out there that produce larger berries than the true native form that we carry.
Q Chris • December 6 Would you say this species is more adapted to drier sites with well-drained soil than the other Amelanchier species?
A Prairie Moon • December 6 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.

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, download: Seed Starting Basics.


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


Trays of 38 plants and 3-packs leave our Midwest greenhouse based on species readiness (well-rooted for transit) and based on order date; Spring shipping is typically early-May through June, and Fall shipping is late-August through September. Plant cells are approximately 2” wide x 5” deep in the trays, and 2.5" wide x 3.5" deep in the 3-packs; ideal for deep-rooted natives. Full-color tags and planting instructions/care 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
over $100.00: 5% of the total seed cost
(for orders over $1,000 a package signature will be required)

BARE ROOT and POTTED PLANTS $50.00 and under: $7.50
over $50.00: 15% of the total plant cost
(for orders over $1,000 a package signature will 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 a day or two upon receipt.

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 38 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
USDA Zones
Plant Spacing
Catalog Number