Description & Overview

An upright, heavily branched tree, the Autumn Brilliance Serviceberry provides four seasons of interest with its showy flowers, edible fruits, fall color, and bark. It’s a great choice for spaces requiring a smaller stature plant and is available as a single stem or multi-stem tree or shrub-form tree.

Core Characteristics

Category: Tree

Wisconsin Native: No - Variety of North American Native

USDA Hardiness Zone: to zone 3

Mature Height: 20-25 feet

Mature Spread: 20-25 feet

Growth Rate: Moderate

Growth Form: Upright, rounded small stature tree, single or multi-stem

Light Requirements: Full Sun to Partial Shade

Site Requirements: Adaptable to most sites except consistently dry soils.

Flower: White

Bloom Period: April

Foliage: Emerges bronze-purple, becomes blue green as season progresses

Fall Color: Orange-Red

Urban Approved: Yes

Fruit Notes: Purple Berry

Suggested Uses

An excellent small-stature tree, the Autumn Brilliance Serviceberry does well in constrained spaces with less-than-ideal light conditions. It works well in woodland gardens, small yards, or where height is restricted by utilities. While tolerant of most site and soil conditions, Autumn Brilliance does not do well with soil salt or areas with poor drainage. Tolerant of shadier conditions, it flowers best when it receives at least four hours of sunlight.

An upright, heavily branched tree, the Autumn Brilliance Serviceberry provides four seasons of interest with its showy flowers, edible fruits, fall co…
An upright, heavily branched tree, the Autumn Brilliance Serviceberry provides four seasons of interest with its showy flowers, edible fruits, fall co…

Wildlife Value

Birds will feed on insects when the tree is in bloom, but the real show begins in June when the fruit matures. Expect to see Orioles, Bluebirds, Cedar Waxwings, Scarlet Tanagers, Northern Flickers, and Robins feasting on the berries in midsummer. Viceroy, Tiger Swallowtails, and Striped Hairstreak butterflies will use this tree as a larval host plant.

Maintenance Tips

Autumn Brilliance Serviceberry should be maintained based on its growth habit. Single-stem trees should have their suckers removed promptly to maintain their single trunk habit. Multi-stem trees can be left to grow naturally but can also be shaped with thinning cuts.

Although a durable plant, Autumn Brilliance Serviceberry struggles with intense heat and drought. Watering in periods of high temperatures and winds will keep the tree healthy and vigorous throughout the season. A nice mulch ring will also help retain moisture and protect roots from drought conditions.

We invite you to check out the Arborist For Hire lookup at the Wisconsin Arborist Association website to find an ISA Certified Arborist near you.

An upright, heavily branched tree, the Autumn Brilliance Serviceberry provides four seasons of interest with its showy flowers, edible fruits, fall co…
An upright, heavily branched tree, the Autumn Brilliance Serviceberry provides four seasons of interest with its showy flowers, edible fruits, fall co…

Pests/Problems

Autumn Brilliance Serviceberry has improved resistance to rust and leaf spot. Aphids can sometimes be a problem, deforming leaves and creating powdery mildew on lower foliage or plants. Fire blight and canker can also damage the tree when stressed. The easiest way to protect the Autumn Brilliance Serviceberry is to maintain its vigor, providing it with enough (but not too much) moisture and nutrients while avoiding unnecessary damage to the tree from lawn mowing or deer rub.

Leaf Lore

Autumn Brilliance Serviceberry is a hybrid between A. canadensis and A. laevis, selected for its excellent fall color and improved disease resistance. Serviceberry is also known as Juneberry, as June is the time of year when the fruit typically ripens. If you can beat the birds to the fruit, serviceberries make excellent jams and pies! Some say the taste of the berries is a cross between a blueberry and raspberry.

Companion Plants

Autumn Brilliance Serviceberry makes an excellent small-scale specimen, so use it either as a focal point in a small space or as a companion to larger trees. Oaks and Maples contrast nicely with the Autumn Brilliance Serviceberry’s size and form. Alternatively, you can mass shade plants like Hosta, ferns, or even Fritsch Spirea beneath to create a sea of foliage for the Serviceberry stems.

An upright, heavily branched tree, the Autumn Brilliance Serviceberry provides four seasons of interest with its showy flowers, edible fruits, fall co…
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Written by Johnson's Nursery