Juneberry (Western Serviceberry)

In appearance, Saskatoons resemble blueberries with their blue to purple fruits. However, they are more closely related to the apple family and are not berries but are pomes, like apples and pears. They are much more adaptable to climate and soils than blueberries. However, well-drained soil is a requirement. Their flavor is described as a sweet, nutty almond flavor. They are high in fiber, protein and antioxidants. The plants are shrubby, growing from 6 to 25 feet tall with a spread up to 18 feet. Most cultivars are self-fruitful and do not need cross pollination. There are some exceptions (Altaglow) which should be planted with another cultivar. These are hardy plants and can bear fruit for 30 years or more. Some varieties bear fruit for up to 70 years. There is a comprehensive guide for growers available online for more information.

WARC Trials

Beginning in 2015, 6 varieties were planted on the station and at other sites around the state.


Variety Fruit Productivity Size Suckering Harvest Comments   Availability
Smoky 0.5in. Very High 15ft. x 15ft. Profusely Even Ripening Round, sweet fruit. high sugar/acid ratio   PT, SM, HB
Martin 0.6in. Medium 10ft. x 13ft. Moderate Early, uniform ripening Excellent flavor Thiessan parentage PT, SM
Northline 0.6in. Very High 13ft. x 20ft. High Early Tangy, acidic, fleshy fruit good for commercial production PT, SM, HB
Lee 3 0.5in. Good 8ft. Low Early slow growing, intense flavor, few seeds Thiessan x Pembrina PT, HB
Lee 8 0.6in. Good 6ft. Low Early slow growing, excellent flavor Northline x Thiessan PT, HB
JB-30 0.7in. High 16ft. X 20ft. Low Mid-harvest, uniform ripening juicy, freeze well   SM

AVAILABILITY-PT=prairie tech propagation, SLN=St. Lawrence Nurseries, SM=Saskatoon Michigan, HB=Honeyberry USA (Minnesota)