Serviceberry Trees Cure Our Cabin Fever

Serviceberry - One of my favorite spring flowering trees.Ever get that blah feeling in the winter when it’s too cold to go outside day in and day out, I know I do. Where I come from it is extremely common and is known as Cabin Fever. No it’s not something contagious, just a state of mind we get ourselves in. Cabin Fever occurs when people accustomed to spending a lot of time outdoors are forced inside by cold weather conditions. Relief does not come until we are once again able to enjoy our time outside. I believe that Mother Nature gave us April in order to rejuvenate the spirit as we emerge from our hibernated state and shake off our winter depression. In the South, we are lucky that our growing season begins fairly early. As our neighbors to the north only dream of fragrant flowers and hours spent out of doors, we can actually experience it rather comfortably. Nothing gets me outside more than the site of our spring flowering trees.

There are several flowering trees that signal for us that spring is just around the corner. Some emerge a little early and a quick frost will nip them back. Deciduous magnolias like “Jane” and “Stella” suffer this fate year after year, but we still prize them when we first see them bloom. Another spring flowering tree that has the ability to perk us right up is the Flowering Cherry tree. There are several varieties to choose from, all with wonderful flowering displays.

One of my favorite spring flowering trees is the Serviceberry (Amelanchier spp.) This not so well known tree is an American native that grows 15-25 feet in height, a perfect size for our smaller lots. It has a glorious white, billowy display of flowers in early spring, but also is quite striking in fall when its leaves turn bright red. It is always a plus when we can get more than one season of interest out of a plant, don’t you think? As a member of the Rose family, it shares quite a few attributes with other members of the family, its kin to wonderful fruiting trees like cherries, crab apples, plums and peaches. Namely, in late spring, you can enjoy the fruit of the tree or leave it for our feathered friends. Sounds like a perfect landscape tree to me.

As an American native, serviceberry grows all over the United States from Canada to Texas, California, to right here in Georgia. It adapts well to wet sites or to light shade on the edge of a wooded lot. This is definitely a plant worth devoting some landscape space to. When you see the beautiful blooms and reap the reward of the berries, your Cabin Fever should be cured.

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