A few weeks ago I welcomed home a new tree for my front yard: The Autumn Brilliance Serviceberry, or Juneberry tree. Over the past few months, I’ve painstakingly researched the possibilities and settled on this beauty. I can’t wait to tell you about it and all the suggestions I have for choosing and caring for your perfect tree!
4 Seasons of Interest
The Autumn Brilliance Serviceberry boasts 4 season interest. From flowers to berries to fiery red to beautiful bark, this tree gives you a lot of bang for the buck.
Spring: This tree blooms with white flowers in the early spring before it even has leaves on it! The blooms note one of the first signs of spring. But, the blooms quickly fade (in 1-2 weeks), and oval shaped leaves emerge coppery-red, becoming rich green throughout the growing season.
Summer: In the summer, the Autumn Brilliance Serviceberry tree produces sweet purplish berries that you can eat! They kind of taste like a mix between an apple and a blueberry. But, you will have to fight the birds if you want some of the berries because they absolutely LOVE them, too!
Fall: the Autumn Brilliance gets its name for the fiery show it puts on in the fall The fall color is dramatic and outstanding — fire-engine red.
Winter: The bark is smooth and light gray, and looks really lovely throughout the winter when there are no leaves. This tree is available as a single stem (like mine) or if you are looking for even more winter interest there’s a multi-stemmed variety.
Choosing a front yard tree
Sometime over Christmas I caught the gardening/landscaping bug, and decided that it would be nice to have some more privacy in my front yard. The large windows to the left are actually my “master” bedroom. It’s a little exposing to be in the very front of the house with a large window, but I’d prefer to be downstairs and that room has the biggest closet :). Directly across the street from me is my wonderful neighbor Tony’s backyard (You’ll hear more about Tony later). So I thought putting a beautiful tree that I could see from my bedroom window would provide some shade and privacy, while giving my yard interest and giving me something nice to look at while lounging in bed. By the way, if you are looking for some ideas / tips for choosing the perfect front yard tree, check out this post. 🙂
Planting & Caring for the Tree
Getting my Autumn Brilliance Serviceberry home was the very first step. Luckily, I used a local nursery and they were able to load the tree into my neighbor Tony’s truck for us. My tree was already pretty tall — about 12 feet! I didn’t want to get a dinky little tree and have to wait 10 years for it to look half decent, especially in my front yard. So, I sprung for a larger, more established tree right off the bat.
I spoke with the nursery and they told me to leave the tree in the burlap when I plant it. They also recommended digging a hole that’s just shy of the height of the root ball, but about 4 times the width of the rootball. So, we ended up digging a hole about 4 feet wide and 1 foot deep to accommodate the new tree. A lot of times, people plant the tree too deep, and then it doesn’t grow, so it’s important to do some measuring and make sure you give the tree the best chance to thrive!
We slowly and carefully lowered the Autumn Brilliance Srrviceberry into the new hole, taking care not to damage the limbs or the root. I held it steady and tried to keep it level while Tony back-filled the dirt. After it was in, I covered the area with a 3″ layer of mulch to keep the roots cool. The mulch also helps the soil to retain moisture and suppresses the growth of weeds with can compete with the tree for water and nutrients.
Here’s my tree parked in the driveway after we took it home from the nursery.
Tony used a pick ax to dig through my rocky clay soil. I supervised 🙂
Here’s my Autumn Brilliance Serviceberry right after planting. You can see it’s very tall, but not very full (yet)
I get many questions about the growth of the tree, so here are some photos I’ve taken over time! Please let me know if you have any questions.
Overall I’m really happy with my decision to put the Autumn Brilliance Serviceberry tree in my front yard. It’s grown each year and the color and four season interest does not disappoint. This tree is prone to suckers (since its technically a shrub trained to a single stemmed tree). Root suckers are vigorous vertical stems that can grow off the tree’s root system. They can also compete with, and eventually overgrow, tree trunks. You may want to watch this video about how to remove root suckers. I don’t have a problem with the root suckers, I just tug them off once a year and keep an eye on it, but I wanted to mention it in case its a concern for you.
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