Serviceberry tree autumn brilliance

Autumn Brilliance Serviceberry in bloom

Autumn Brilliance Serviceberry in bloom

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Autumn Brilliance Serviceberry in fall

Autumn Brilliance Serviceberry in fall

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Autumn Brilliance Serviceberry in fall

Autumn Brilliance Serviceberry in fall

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height: 25 feet

Spread: 20 feet

Sunlight:

Hardiness Zone: 3b

Description:

A great small tree prized for its abundance of showy white flowers in spring and consistently beautiful fall colors; a great three-season shade tree for small landscapes

Ornamental Features

Autumn Brilliance Serviceberry is covered in stunning clusters of white flowers rising above the foliage in early spring before the leaves. It has dark green foliage throughout the season. The oval leaves turn an outstanding brick red in the fall. It produces blue berries from late spring to early summer. The smooth gray bark adds an interesting dimension to the landscape.

Landscape Attributes

Autumn Brilliance Serviceberry is an open multi-stemmed deciduous tree with a more or less rounded form. Its relatively fine texture sets it apart from other landscape plants with less refined foliage.

This is a relatively low maintenance tree, and is best pruned in late winter once the threat of extreme cold has passed. It is a good choice for attracting birds to your yard, but is not particularly attractive to deer who tend to leave it alone in favor of tastier treats. It has no significant negative characteristics.

Autumn Brilliance Serviceberry is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Accent
  • Shade
  • General Garden Use

Planting & Growing

Autumn Brilliance Serviceberry will grow to be about 25 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 20 feet. It has a low canopy with a typical clearance of 4 feet from the ground, and is suitable for planting under power lines. It grows at a medium rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for 40 years or more.

This tree does best in full sun to partial shade. It prefers to grow in average to moist conditions, and shouldn’t be allowed to dry out. It is not particular as to soil type or pH. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution. This particular variety is an interspecific hybrid.

Care For Serviceberry Trees: Growing Autumn Brilliance Serviceberries

Looking for a small tree/shrub with brilliant fall color to liven up the landscape this autumn? Consider the aptly named serviceberry, ‘Autumn Brilliance,’ which sports gorgeous orange/red fall color and is disease resistant. Read on to find out how to grow an Autumn Brilliance serviceberry and information on general care for serviceberry trees.

About Autumn Brilliance Serviceberries

‘Autumn Brilliance’ serviceberries (Amelanchier x grandflora) are a cross between A. canadensis and A. laevis. Its genus name stems from the French provincial name for Amelanchier ovalis, a European plant in this genus and, of course, its cultivar name is reminiscent of its brilliant orange/red fall hues. It is hardy in USDA zones 4-9.

The serviceberry ‘Autumn Brilliance’ has an upright, highly branching form that grows from between 15-25 feet (4-8 m.) in height. This particular cultivar tends to sucker less than others, tolerates drought and is adapted to a variety of soil types.

While it is named for its notable fall color, Autumn Brilliance is just as spectacular in the spring with its display of large white flowers. These flowers are followed by small edible fruit that taste much like blueberries. The berries can be made into preserves and pies or left on the tree for the birds to devour. Leaves emerge tinged purple, mature to dark green from late spring through the summer, and then go out in a blaze of glory come fall.

How to Grow an Autumn Brilliance Serviceberry

Autumn Brilliance serviceberries can be found growing in shrub borders or along residential street planting strips. These serviceberries also make a lovely understory tree/shrub or for growing along woodland margins.

Plant this serviceberry in full sun to part shade in average soil that is well-draining. Autumn Brilliance prefers moist, well-draining loam soil but will tolerate most other types of soil.

Care for serviceberry trees, once established, is minimal. This variety requires little to no care, as it is drought tolerant and disease resistant. Although this variety does not sucker as much as other serviceberries, it still will sucker. Remove any suckers if you prefer a tree rather than a shrubby growth habit.

Autumn Brilliance Serviceberry: a Tree for all Seasons

From early spring blooms to edible berries in the summer to fiery red fall foliage to branches that catch falling snow, the Autumn Brilliance Serviceberry is truly a tree for all seasons.

And if this multi-season interest isn’t enough, topping out at 25′ high, this tree is petite enough to fit into any small garden and comes in a single and multi-stem variety! It’s not hard to see why I love this tree as much as I do.

So, if you’re considering planting this beauty, keep on reading so I can convince you exactly why you’d be silly to wait another day.

The Autumn Brilliance Serviceberry boasts 4 season interest. From flowers to berries to fiery red to beautiful bark, this tree gives you a lot of bang for the buck.

4 Seasons of the Autumn Brilliance Serviceberry

A hybrid cross between native serviceberries, the ‘Autumn Brilliance’ Serviceberry is an ornamental tree that grows in full-partial sun to about 20-25′ tall and wide. It can be purchased as a single-stem or multi-stem variety and is adaptable to most soil types. It’s also fairly drought tolerant once established.

Autumn Brilliance truly does have 4-season interest, which is a rarity for such a “small” tree that will fit into almost any yard. It blooms VERY early (late April) with showy white flowers before the foliage appears. Edible berries (juneberries) taste great and attract birds and wildlife in June. Autumn Brilliance glows fiery orange-red in autumn, lighting up your landscape. In winter, an attractive branching habit and silvery-grey, smooth bark truly make this a tree for all seasons.

Zones: 3-8
Sun Tolerance: Full Sun – Part Sun
Size: 20-25′ high x 15-20′ wide
Seasons of interest: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Serviceberry blooms in early spring before the foliage appears

Serviceberry has beautiful white blooms in early spring before the foliage appears

The serviceberry tree blooms with white flowers in the early spring before it even has leaves on it! The blooms note one of the first signs of spring. But, the blooms quickly fade (in 1-2 weeks), and oval shaped leaves emerge coppery-red, becoming rich green throughout the growing season.

Serviceberry trees have edible summer berries (aka juneberries)

Serviceberry in the summer (edible june berries)

In the summer, the Autumn Brilliance Serviceberry tree produces sweet purplish berries that you can eat! They kind of taste like a mix between an apple and a blueberry. But, you will have to fight the birds if you want some of the berries because they absolutely LOVE them, too!

Fiery fall foliage of the Autumn Brilliance

Serviceberry in the fall

The Autumn Brilliance gets its name for the fiery show it puts on in the fall The fall color is dramatic and outstanding — fire-engine red.

Serviceberry’s Standout winter bark and structure

Serviceberry in Winter

The bark is smooth and light gray and looks really lovely throughout the winter when there are no leaves.

Autumn Brilliance is also available as a single stem tree (like mine) or if you are looking for even more winter interest there’s a multi-stemmed variety.

Quick tip: If you are looking for some ideas / tips for choosing the perfect front yard tree, check out this post. 🙂

What Blooms with What?

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Planting a Serviceberry Tree

Getting my Autumn Brilliance Serviceberry home was the very first step. Luckily, I used a local nursery and they were able to load the tree into my neighbor Tony’s truck for us.

Here’s my tree parked in the driveway after we took it home from the nursery.

The Serviceberry I purchased was already pretty tall — about 12 feet high! I didn’t want to get a dinky little tree and have to wait years for it to look half decent, especially in my front yard. So, I sprung for a larger, more established tree right off the bat. I paid about $250 for this tree.

My friends at the nursery recommended digging a hole that’s just shy of the height of the root ball, but 4x width of the root ball. So, we ended up digging a hole about 4 feet wide and 1 foot deep to accommodate the new tree.

Tony used a pick ax to dig through my rocky clay soil. I supervised 🙂

Slowly and carefully lower the Autumn Brilliance Serviceberry into the new hole. Try not to damage the limbs or the root. They also advised me to leave the tree in the burlap planting. So, this is what we did. I held the tree steady and tried to keep it level while Tony back-filled the dirt. Make sure you plant the tree so that the rootball is just a tiny bit above ground level. Planting it too deep is a common mistake and will often kill a young tree.

Caring for your Serviceberry Tree

Mulching

Cover the base of the tree and surrounding area with a 3″ layer of mulch to keep the roots cool. The mulch also helps the soil to retain moisture and suppresses the growth of weeds with can compete with the tree for water and nutrients.

Watering

Be sure to water the Serviceberry regularly, especially the first year or two after planting. A general rule of thumb is to apply 10 gallons of water for every inch of trunk diameter when you water.

For easier watering, I recommend grabbing a Treegator (). The Treegator is a slow-release watering bag that wraps around the tree trunk. It saves time and takes a lot of the guesswork out of watering. Slow watering your plants helps them to establish strong roots, too.

Cons of the Autumn Brilliance Serviceberry

Overall the Serviceberry is a fantastic tree. In my opinion, the pros of having this tree heavily outweigh the cons. But, if you’re curious, here are some of the pitfalls.

Root Suckers

You should be aware that this tree is prone to suckers. This is common for many fruit trees. Root suckers are vigorous vertical stems that can grow off the tree’s root system. Suckers can occur in both the single stem and multi-stemmed varieties of the Serviceberry.

If you’ve never come across root suckers before, you may want to watch this video about how to remove root suckers. I personally don’t have a problem with them. To me, the pros of this tree far outweigh the hour or so I spend caring for it each year. But, I wanted to mention it in case its a concern for you.

Short Bloom Period

If you’re looking for a really long-blooming tree, the Autumn Brilliance might not be right for you. The beautiful white blossoms are very showy but blooms only last about two weeks. I love that it blooms in early spring when not much else is going on in the garden (think daffodil season, which is late April for me).

Afterwards, the foliage fills in and you’ll have to wait until June for some edible berry interest. So, while it is showy and it does bloom, it’s not a very long-blooming tree. I think that the other seasons of interest make up for it, though.

Nothing else I can think of

There honestly aren’t many cons to planting this tree. It’s really disease resistant, has non-invasive roots, a compact size. It also isn’t used as often as it should be… making it a unique tree to add to your landscape!

Quick tip: If you’re still undecided about the Autumn Brilliance Serviceberry, check out some of my favorite ornamental trees for front yards. I’m sure you’ll find something over there that you like!

Autumn Brilliance Serviceberry photo gallery

I get many questions about the growth of the tree, so here are some photos I’ve taken over time! View my serviceberry tree photo journal.

Here’s a growth comparison of the autumn brilliance serviceberry from 2013-2019.

Wrapping Up

Overall I’m really happy with my decision to put the Autumn Brilliance Serviceberry tree in my front yard. It’s grown each year and the color and four season interest does not disappoint.

In early spring, enjoy the beautiful white blooms of your serviceberry tree before the leaves even appear. Then, in June enjoy the edible berries if you can fend off the birds who absolutely love them, too. This tree will not disappoint with its fiery fall foliage and certainly makes a statement with its unusual bark color and beautiful growing habit.

Overall, the Autumn Brilliance Serviceberry tree is a true standout in the garden and one of my top picks for ornamental trees for your front yard.

Don’t forget to pin this post for later!

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Serviceberry

Serviceberry Tree

This small tree thrives through all four seasons and offers so much to any garden. Abundant white blooms in spring are followed by delicious berries in summer, fiery foliage in fall, and silver bark in winter.

genus name
  • Amelanchier
light
  • Part Sun,
  • Shade,
  • Sun
plant type
  • Shrub,
  • Tree
height
  • 8 to 20 feet,
  • 20 feet or more
width
  • 4 to 15 feet wide
flower color
  • White
season features
  • Spring Bloom,
  • Colorful Fall Foliage
problem solvers
  • Drought Tolerant
special features
  • Low Maintenance,
  • Attracts Birds
zones
  • 2,
  • 3,
  • 4,
  • 5,
  • 6,
  • 7,
  • 8,
  • 9
propagation
  • Seed,
  • Stem Cuttings

Serviceberry

Blooms, Berries, and Foliage

Serviceberry trees display white blooms just before their foliage emerges in early spring, offering some of the earliest sources of nectar for pollinators. The five-petaled flowers closely resemble apple blossoms but with skinnier petals.

After the show of these blooms, clusters of edible berries form. As summer begins, berry colors ripen to a deep red then purple color. The berries make a wonderful substitute for blueberries and can be eaten fresh or made into jams and jellies.

Serviceberry foliage has an open and loose habit. This allows dappled light to shine through, which creates a space for part-shade plants to sit below the base of serviceberry trees. As nights cool down in autumn, blue-green foliage transforms into beautiful shades of orange and red.

Learn more about finding the perfect tree for your yard.

Serviceberry Care Must-Knows

Serviceberry’s habits are extremely versatile. They can be treated as either a large shrub or a small tree. Some species of serviceberry can sucker and create spreading colonies. In their natural habitat, these trees tend to do well in part shade.

Take a look at more small trees for your yard.

Serviceberry trees encounter very few problems. If you experience a particularly dry and hot summer, spider mites could appear on the foliage. In most cases, this will cause no long-term damage to the health of the tree; the effects are merely cosmetic. Serviceberry trees grow fast and can quickly fill a garden.

See more berry trees that birds love.

More Varieties of Serviceberry

‘Regent’ Serviceberry

Amelanchier alnifolia ‘Regent’ is a compact shrub that grows 6 feet tall and 4 feet wide. Native plant to the American Great Plains, it is quite drought tolerant. Its deep purple fruits make delicious jams, jellies, or pies. Zones 2-7

Common Serviceberry

Amelanchier arborea is also known as downy serviceberry, a reference to the fine hairs on its leaves and twigs. In cultivation, it grows 15 to 25 feet tall and wide, but in native woodlands it may reach 40 feet tall. Its fall color is a delightful mix of orange, red, and gold. Zones 4-9

‘Autumn Brilliance’ Serviceberry

Amelanchier ‘Autumn Brilliance’ is a hybrid with exceptional fall color ranging from orange to red with gold overtones. It grows 15 to 25 feet tall and wide. Zones 4-9

‘Cumulus’ Allegheny Serviceberry

Amelanchier laevis ‘Cumulus’ is a narrow upright small tree that grows 25 feet tall and 12 feet wide. It is covered with clouds of white blossoms in spring. The purple fruits and red-orange fall color extend its seasons of beauty. Zones 4-8

Apple Serviceberry

Amelanchier X grandiflora is a hybrid with a graceful rounded form. It grows 20 to 25 feet tall and wide and bears profuse white blooms that are sometimes tinged pink. The pinkish-purple fruits resemble miniature apples. It is quite drought tolerant. Zones 3-8

Autumn Brilliance® Serviceberry in bloom

Autumn Brilliance® Serviceberry in bloom

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Autumn Brilliance® Serviceberry in fall

Autumn Brilliance® Serviceberry in fall

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Autumn Brilliance® Serviceberry in fall

Autumn Brilliance® Serviceberry in fall

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height: 25 feet

Spread: 18 feet

Sunlight:

Hardiness Zone: 4a

Description:

A great multi-stemed small tree prized for its abundance of showy white flowers in spring and consistently beautiful fall colors; a great three-season shade tree for small landscapes

Ornamental Features

Autumn Brilliance® Serviceberry is covered in stunning clusters of white flowers rising above the foliage in early spring before the leaves. It has dark green foliage throughout the season. The oval leaves turn an outstanding brick red in the fall. It produces blue berries in late spring. The smooth gray bark adds an interesting dimension to the landscape.

Landscape Attributes

Autumn Brilliance® Serviceberry is an open multi-stemmed deciduous tree with a more or less rounded form. Its relatively fine texture sets it apart from other landscape plants with less refined foliage.

This tree will require occasional maintenance and upkeep, and is best pruned in late winter once the threat of extreme cold has passed. It is a good choice for attracting birds to your yard, but is not particularly attractive to deer who tend to leave it alone in favor of tastier treats. It has no significant negative characteristics.

Autumn Brilliance® Serviceberry is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Accent
  • Shade
  • General Garden Use

Planting & Growing

Autumn Brilliance® Serviceberry will grow to be about 25 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 18 feet. It has a low canopy with a typical clearance of 4 feet from the ground, and is suitable for planting under power lines. It grows at a medium rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for 40 years or more.

This tree does best in full sun to partial shade. It prefers to grow in average to moist conditions, and shouldn’t be allowed to dry out. It is not particular as to soil type or pH. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution. This particular variety is an interspecific hybrid.

Gertens Sizes and Prices

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