Saskatoon Berry (Amelanchier alnifolia)


Saskatoon berries are native to Alberta in Canada, where they were a staple of the Plains Indians. The plant is valued for its fruit and as an ornamental shrub or hedge. The shrub is tall and upright with a spreading form. Early in the spring, before the leaves are fully out, clusters of white blossoms appear. The autumn colour also makes it an outstanding addition to the landscape. The fruit is excellent when eaten fresh, cooked in pies and desserts, canned, frozen or made into wine or juice. Saskatoons are self-fertile, but they seem to do better when grown in groups.

Growing Saskatoon Berries

Propagation: Saskatoons can be propagated from seed, root sprouts (suckers) or tissue culture. Plant Saskatoons 0.6 to 1m apart in hedge rows 4 to 6m apart.
Yields/ha: Unknown
First harvest: Expected to be mid-summer of Year 2.
Full production: Unknown
Training/Pruning: Unknown
Soil type: Saskatoons thrive on most soils with plenty of organic matter. They need good drainage as the plant does not like wet roots. They prefer slightly acidic soils but will grow reasonably well on alkaline soils with a pH of up to 7.5.
Fertilisers: NPK fertiliser applied once a year.
Pest/Diseases: Nothing obvious.
Harvesting: Harvest the berries when they turn from pink to deep purple. Saskatoons ripen fairly evenly, and most of the crop can be picked at one time.
Marketing: Local markets only options at this stage. Export markets may be available if the volumes increase.

Further Information

Wikipedia article