The Juneberry (Amelanchier lamarckii) is originally native to eastern North America. Nobody knows how and when it established itself in Europe. What is certain is that already in the 18th century it decorated many botanical gardens and parks and in some areas of northwestern Europe it became wild, because the climate was so comfortable for it. In the 19th century it was discovered and planted in the Netherlands and the United States as a fruit tree.
Amelanchier lamarckii belongs to the genus of rock pears (Amelanchier). The species name can be traced back to the French botanist Jean-Baptiste de Lamarck, who described it for the first time in 1783. However, since it was long believed to be a form of the Canadian rock pear (Amelanchier canadensis), the scientific name Amelanchier lamarckii was only generally accepted in 1968. To this day, the trade has not quite managed to completely eliminate this error.
Over the years, the rather slender Juneberry develops into a four to six metre high, uniform shrub. The broad umbrella-shaped crown is formed by several trunks, from which conspicuously thin, overhanging olive-grey branches and twigs branch off. Together they result in a light and picturesque togetherness.
The alternate elliptic leaves of Amelanchier lamarckii with white hairs underneath unfold during flowering in April. As they glow copper red when they are driven out, they have been given the colloquial name copper rock pear. In summer, like all other species, it wears a dark green dress of four to eight centimeters long, bare leaves. Before the leaves fall to the ground in autumn, the Juneberry inspires with bright yellow to orange-red leaves.
You can rely on Amelanchier lamarckii: year after year a cloud of brilliant white star-shaped flowers opens at the ends of the short side shoots from April to May. Eight to ten flowers are arranged in slightly overhanging or obliquely positioned loose racemes. The flowers consist of five petals and twenty stamens and measure two to three centimeters.
From June to July, pea-sized long-stalked fruits hang from the Juneberry . Its initial light red colour changes to blue-black as it matures. Since they taste pleasantly sweet, they are suitable for snacking, but also perfect for jellies, marmalades and juices. In former times they served as a substitute for currants, which is why the rock pear is still called a currant or raisin tree in northern United States. Since even unripe fruits are very popular with the flock of birds in the garden, you have to be quick to catch any at all.
The Juneberry needs a sunny or semi-shade place in the garden.
The demand of the Juneberry on the soil is low. It grows on all dry to moist, slightly acidic to alkaline garden soils that are permeable.
Juneberry are sold in containers or bales. They can be planted in containers all year round. It is advisable to plant them in spring or autumn. The trees or shrubs grow well if you dig out a large planting hole for them, fill in the excavated soil again without gaps and carefully tread all around. It is always worthwhile to regularly supply young trees with water after planting if there is no rain.
The Juneberry is a very undemanding woody plant. It tolerates frost as well as temporary dryness and wetness. Consequently, they do not need to be protected or watered regularly. If you want to do something good for her, provide Amelanchier lamarckii with a complete fertilizer in spring.
With the Juneberry , you should limit yourself to removing a few branches and twigs. The shrubs do not tolerate a radical rejuvenation cut into the old wood, as older, thick trunks do not sprout again very well or at all. If you want to thinn out the bushes, it is best to use scissors after the flower has bloomed. This has two advantages: you don’t miss the abundance of the enchanting flowers and the cuts heal faster than in early spring. Thinning is optically appropriate when the crown is slowly bleached on the inside or branches cross or are too dense. You may remove both thin and thicker branches. It is important that you cut off the shoots directly at the branch, i.e. cut them to “Astring”. In the worst case, they will mutate into a gateway for pathogens. Only in an emergency should logs be sawed off directly at the base above the ground.
The Juneberry enriches every garden with its contrasting spring programme, its great autumn colouring and its picturesque growth – regardless of its size and style. There are Amelanchier lamarckii as shrub, umbrella-shaped large tree and as high trunk to buy. Amelanchier lamarckii is still very popular in the natural garden as well. It is an ecological treasure: bees and insects love their flowers, while birds appreciate the protection of branches and leaves as well as fruits as food sources. Which in turn predestines them for a wild hedge. And because it is robust and salt tolerant, the copper rock pear is also often planted in public green areas and busy areas.
Amelanchier lamarckii is propagated by sowing.
Diseases and pests
Only powdery mildew sometimes causes problems for the copper rock pear. In most cases, however, it does not leave any lasting damage behind.