The Saskatoon Berry Bush is a woody, perennial shrub that can yield fruit and adapt to a variety of soil types and climatic conditions. The Saskatoon is a small to medium-sized shrub or tree that is a member of the Rose family. It shares a kinship with the mountain ash, apple, and hawthorn.
Quick Growing Guide
Botanical Name: Amelanchier alnifolia
Botanical Family: Rosaceae
Also Called: Saskatoon-berry, Western Serviceberry
En français: Amélanchier à feuilles d’aulne
See More Plants in this Botanical Family:
Water: Low to moderate need for water.
Saskatoon berry bush is a native of the Canadian Prairies, the Northwest Territories, the Yukon, Alaska, British Columbia, and the northwest and north central United States. Saskatoon can withstand temperatures ranging from -50° to -60° C. Flowers bloom from early May to early June.
Saskatoon Berry Taste
Saskatoon berries are less connected to berries and more linked to apples. They are very different, although they have similar sizes and hues. Saskatoon berries have a flavor that is both sweet and nutty (almond-like).
On the other hand, blueberries, especially when mature, are sweet with varying levels of acidity. This is the reason why some individuals will claim that blueberries have a greater flavor. For a more well-rounded flavor, the acid somewhat reduces the sweetness. They require little maintenance as well. If you take proper care of them, they’ll taste better than the blueberries you buy at the store and as delicious as the blueberries you produce yourself.
Uses of Amelanchier Alnifolia
For a very long time, it has been a staple of the diet of Canada’s indigenous people. It can be eaten dried or fresh. Additionally, it plays a crucial role in the preparation of dried meat, known as pemmican. It improves flavor and aids in preservation.
Homebrewers have been successfully experimenting with it. They have a flavor that is somewhat reminiscent of blueberry beer but slightly tarter. Additionally, they can be utilized to create items like jam, pie, glaze, cider, and wine.
It is also used for its several health advantages. Berries, in general, can be regarded as superfoods because they provide the same health advantages, even though blueberries receive the most attention for being a so-called superfood.
In fact, it’s a good source of antioxidants that can aid in the prevention of disease. Your body will absorb up to 36.56 mg of phenolics and anthocyanins per gram of this berry. The anthocyanin, in actuality, is what gives it its color. It has a lot of flavonols as well.
These advantages give rise to assertions that it can delay aging. Additionally, it can protect against cancer and heart problems and it can protect your body from disorders that affect the cardiovascular system. It may also strengthen your body’s defense mechanisms. When it comes to its ability to absorb oxygen radicals, its antioxidant profile ranks fairly highly. Fruit pulp and fresh fruit are covered by this.
Growing Saskatoon Berry
Keep an eye out for root suckers and prune them to restrict development; if a hedge is required, place the shrubs five feet apart. These shrubs grow rather slowly but can readily form colonies over time. In their third year, young plants will start to produce berries.
The ideal soil conditions for this shrub are slightly acidic, moist (but not soggy), and well-drained. It is tolerant to clay soil as well as alkaline soil. Make your planting soil more acidic with peat moss, pine needles, or coffee grounds. Additionally, clay soil’s texture and drainage will be improved by this.
Saskatoon Berry Bush Water Requirements
This shrub can tolerate some drought and doesn’t require any additional water beyond what it typically receives from rains. Deep watering at the base of the tree, however, will assist in maintaining it healthy in prolonged droughts that continue more than two weeks or longer than a week with daily temperatures above 85°F. The production of berries, like other berries, can be impacted by prolonged drought.
The Saskatoon berry thrives in both full and partial sunlight. To guarantee good fruiting of its berries in the summer, it needs to get a least four hours of direct sunlight each day.
Temperature and Humidity
The hardiness range of the Saskatoon berry is somewhat constrained, and it does not perform well in regions with extremely high or low temperatures. The growing habits of this shrub are not ideal for extremely cold winters or extremely hot summers. Humidity can also be a problem because it is mildew-prone in other ways.
These plants can be multiplied by saving the seeds from ripe fruit. To avoid fermentation, promptly clean the seeds. Seeds may be sown in the fall or in the spring using a cold-stratification technique.
To form colonies, stolons (root sprouts) may spread. Sakatoon bushes tolerates harsh and cold weather conditions but is not tolerant of pollution.
Saskatoon bushes can be found in nature on rocky ridges, alongside streams, and in dry to moist open woods.
Protection for the plant
The Saskatoon berry doesn’t require any extra maintenance outside of annual pruning. If the root system becomes visible, cover the base with some topsoil. Every other autumn, a small manure dressing will maintain the root system strong.
This shrub is susceptible to a number of pests, such as fireblight, mildew, rust, fungal leaf spots, and cankers. Rabbits and mice could also like to chew on the bark; one all-natural remedy for this is to spray the area with water mixed with Irish Spring soap shavings.
Saskatoon berries are an excellent snack for deer. Setting up a fence around the plants will stop this. Mice, who enjoy chewing on the bark, might do harm alongside rabbits.
You can experiment with what other growers have done. Spray the plant’s trunks with a solution made from two bars of Irish Spring soap after the fall freeze has passed. Shave the soap, then add one to two gallons of hot water to dilute. Mix it with 4 liters of room temperature water after diluting it.