Saskatoons - Anyone growing these?

Way to go, NativBill
I’ve not tried that variety of them…but probably just as delicious.

And, yes, they will get cedar apple rust, and yes they are a good landscape plant.


I have Northline and Honeywood. Northline has fruited for two years but the birds got all of them. I have yet to taste! I have extra nets this year!! I’m in 5a/6b and the alnifolia species grows just fine here. I would like to add Autumn Brilliance one day too.

You know the wood is very hard and dense. The Indians used them for arrows. Much like in Europe they used Cornus mas dogwood. The wood of both I heard is so dense green wood sinks in water. Cornus mas was used for arrows and spears too. I have a hedge of them. You can’t have too many berries!


Those varieties are actually stocked at a nearby nursery, I’ll check them out. thanks

Thanks for that

Im always surprised to see there are so many people that dont care for these. My wife and i tried them once off an autumn brilliance at a nursery and they were delicious. I love blueberries and id say i like these just as much.
Not saying they taste that similar, alot of times my blueberries are a little more tart than id like these were not tart at all, which was nice. The only reason i havent planted a couple of these is because of CAR, my acerage is packed with cedar trees. I might give it a try anyway and spray them, i couldnt really find anything about CAR resistance like you can for apples.


I put 10 Smokey in the ground last year, they didn’t grow much and I lost some but I am looking forward to trying the berries. The wild June berry trees that grow here taste pretty good but the birds usually get them. The grocery store has several trees planted in the parking lot that I forage from in the summer :wink: that taste great.


I planted my wild ones about 100 yards south of my many cedars, and they seem mostly unaffected by CAR. You might be fine with a bit of distance.


Northline and Honeywood are Amelanchier alnifolia, and are no doubt the best choice if you live in Saskatchewan or Minnesota. They are a commercial crop in Canada.

They had mildew problems in Kentucky. But since we have Amelanchier lavies, Amelanchier Canadensis, Amelanchier stolonifera, and Amelanchier arborea in our hills and mountains, the natives or the hybrids are better in Mid-Atlantic or Southern states.

Most of the “apple serviceberry” hybrids are a cross of Amelanchier arborea x Amelanchier lavies (the Appalachian serviceberry). “Amelanchier x grandiflora” is the designation.

There are at least half a dozen others, including Asiatic serviceberry. And a neighbor of mine has an Amelanchier lavies that is 72 feet tall…but even that isn’t a record.


‘Honeywood’ is gigantic. My friend has a 10-year bush that’s maybe 9 ft. tall and suckering vigorously and laden with fruit. He says their the size of a USA 5-cent but they aren’t quite that large, but, are large no-doubt. He handed me frozen ones to try last Spring and they were good. He’s a fruit explorer and has tried just about all the cultivars whether hybrids or straight species and he says ‘Honeywood’ is the best.

I have Amelanchier x ‘Autumn Brilliance’. It’s a very-good tasting serviceberry, but, I don’t have anything to go off of to compare it too. And all I’ve tried are frozen ‘Honeywood’. Sure I’ve picked from serviceberries in landscapes but don’t recall the flavor.

My Mom is crazy about them. She tried the ones from my Autumn Brilliance and now has (2) cultivars in her city yard. Honeywood and a seedling of alnifolia.

I agree they make a good pie, but, the seeds are crunchy/abundant. It’s a very decent pie/cobbler/etc.



Wow! Well glad I choose that one! It has it’s work cut out as I put it in my island garden, and conditions are tough there. Nothing grows super well. I have a 7 year old sweet cherry tree and it looks like a typical 2nd leaf tree. The trunk is not as thick as my arm.
I do find Cornus mas grows well there. Funny it stays green in the fall longer than any tree I have ever seen. And blooms with snow on the ground in the spring.
The newest Amelanchier alnifolia cultivar out of Canada and available here is JB-30 ask your friend about it! Berries are bigger, more disease resistant they say???


I’ve got a couple tree sized ones in my back yard as well as a smaller Smoky. They fruit well, but the fruit is out of reach for me and the bird pressure is heavy. Within a mile or so there are a dozen landscape plantings that I snack on as my wife and I take our walks. She loves them as well.

I’ve not had a problem with CAR. I have apples in the yard (and a medlar right between the serviceberry plants) but I have no cedars nearby.



For us here in Utah, we really can’t grow blueberries given our alkaline soil, so this is the next best thing. Although, I don’t think serviceberries are that comparable to blueberries. I like the former, but I think blueberries are better tasting. My wife hates serviceberries, but loves blueberries.

I grow Northline, Martin, Saskatoons, Regent, Smokey, Utah, and Thiessen. I can’t really tell a difference in taste between them.

Some berries are slightly bigger than others. The Saskatoons are smallest. One time when I had my one and only Martin, it was about the size of a quarter and some stupid bird ate it before I got it. The next year I had multiple ones on that Martin, but they were all average size.

I made a jam last year with it, which was pretty good. They are loaded with pectin, so I don’t think I needed to use as much as I did to make that jam. Pretty thick. They are great on my cereal every morning, and have more antioxidants than blueberries from what I read somewhere.

The best grower I have is the Utah serviceberry. Perhaps that’s because I live in Utah. It grows so much bigger and faster than the rest of mine. Regent is the smallest.


Thanks, great info

Honeywood, Northline, Smokey, and Thiessen are available at Floramaxx as plugs. I think after reading this thread I’m leaning towards just getting one of each and seeing which I like most. Based on their website, from a landscaping perspective which is my primary objective on this one, Thiessen blooms earlier than the other three so it would be nice to have a longer flowering period between it and the others.

Plugs are (I think CA dollars?) 3.39 per plant plus phytosanitary fee, shipping, and bank conversion fee (from USD), which I found was pretty reasonable last year.

They shipped about 10 plants last year but do trays up to 32.


i have a JB-30 that i thought was dead. HBUSA sent me a Northline to replace it. bugger started growing again in Aug.and is about 10in. tall. be awhile before i taste them but ive heard they are very good.


Well it’s almost a year later and the tree has survived, but seems on pause. It’s not happy. It’s not dead either, so hopefully it will find it’s grove. No fruit yet.

I would like to add Autumn Brilliance but I have no where to put it? It is a small tree.


‘Standing Ovation’ (*Amelanchier alnifolia ‘Obelisk’) is a columnar variety. In my experience very productive and tasty.

I’ve also enjoyed ‘Regent’ and am considering planting it next.

Autumn Brilliance may be a small tree…but a lot of things grow great underneath it…as much sun makes it through the canopy.


The fruit of Autumn Brilliance,was to me,like eating a very small Apple.


These hybrids are sometimes called ‘apple serviceberries’…

but I never have tasted any ‘apple’ in eating them.
(Nor have I tasted an apple as good)

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