Amelanchier canadensis 'OCTOBER FLAME'

Amelanchier canadensis
Amelanchier canadensis 'OCTOBER FLAME'
Canadian serviceberry, juneberry
SIZE/TYPE taller shrub
 small tree
LEAVES deciduous broadleaf
LOCATION full to partial sun
SOIL MOISTURE REQUIREMENTS evenly moist (dislikes drought)
USDA zone (lowest) 4   (down to -34°C)
FOR ZONE 5+6 Code of winter protection zone 5+6
FOR ZONE 7 Code of winter protection zone 7
BELONGS TO CATEGORIES Deciduous broadleaf
Fruit trees
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Juneberry and serviceberry species are popular shrubs and trees that are celebrating their renaissance at the beginning of the new millennium. They belong to both ornamental plants as well as fruit trees which is why they are regaining interest. They are very easy to grow and can cope even with heavy clay without any need for additional fertilizing. Moreover, their root system is so dense that it helps protect soil from erosion.

Canadian serviceberry is one of many native fruit trees that gave fruit to the original inhabitants of the American continent. Also, it is one of the parents of the well-known and popular hybrid Lamarck's juneberry which became extremely popular especially at the turn of the millennium.

October Flame is an American variety of Canadian serviceberry which was bred and introduced in 1993 by Edward Losely from the Herman Losely & Son nursery, i.e., the same person behind the highly successful fastigiate variety Rainbow Pillar. October Flame is often cited with a registered trademark but has never been granted a plant patent.

In spring it is smothered with a profusion of small, fragrant, star-shaped, pure white flowers. They are followed by clusters of small, edible fruits - round berries similar to blueberries with tiny seeds inside. They ripen when their red color darkens to purple blue. They have excellent, sweet taste with a slightly spicy, blackthorn flavour and remain ripe on the bush/tree for quite a long time which increases the harvest period to almost a month. The only problem can be birds, who - once they spot them - can harvest them considerably quicker. The berries are valuable for their iron and copper content. The leaves are deciduous, narrowly oval, 3-4 cm long, flushed copper in spring, medium green in summer, and cheerfully coloured in autumn when they change to several shades of deep orange, scarlet red and burgundy.

This is a compact and much slower growing variety of serviceberry with dense and regular branching, which forms an almost impenetrable canopy already on young trees. In gardens it grows to about 4 meters in height and about half as wide, but in open spaces like parks or arboretums with unlimited root space it can grow some two meters more. The canopies are upright and slightly rounded when young, turning almost globular in maturity. October Flame serviceberry does not require pruning to look good. Still, it can be shaped and kept smaller by spring pruning before the buds emerge (losing flowers and fruit) or after harvest (slightly reducing flowering in the following year).

Most serviceberry species are undemanding trees in terms of cultivation or soil quality. Canadian serviceberry will be happy in almost any soil that is not too calcareous. It copes well with heavy soil and clay, but keep in mind that for planting you need to refine the soil in the planting pit so that it establishes well as quickly as possible. In acid soil it will exhibit a more attractive palette of autumn colours. It can never stand in water or mud. Newly planted standard trees (with a trunk) must be tied to a firm support for the first 3 years. Fully hardy to approx. -34 °C (USDA zone 4).

Last update 24-10-2023

Amelanchier canadensis
Amelanchier arborea
  • STANDARD QUALITY - Plants of this group are 1st class quality with number of branches and overall density adequate to their size and age, considering they were container grown.
  • DE LUXE QUALITY - This label guarantees a luxurious quality of manually selected plants that, compared to their height and age, are exceptionally dense and beautiful.
  • EXTRA - These plants are usually mature and bigger specimens with exceptional overall appearance.
  • STANDARD (as described in the plant form) means a tree with a trunk of 190-210 cm and a crown at the top, unless specified differently. The commercial size for trees is their girth measured in the height of 1m from ground.
  • HOBBY - These plants are of the same quality as our standard-quality plants but younger and therefore cheaper.
  • SHRUB - a woody plant with branches growing bushy from the ground level.
  • HALF-STANDARD or MINI-STANDARD - a small tree with shorter trunk, its size is usually specified.
  • FEATHERED - These are trees with branches growing already from the base of the trunk and up along the stem.
  • GRASSES and PERENNIALS - Sizes given usually read the diameter of the pot or the clump, as specified.
LARGE PLANTS over 150 cmspecimens, screening and hedging shrubs

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