Are juneberries the same as Eastern serviceberry?
NO. Juneberries grown for fruit production are the species Amelanchier alnifolia. Service berries native to the Northeast US are the species Amelanchier canadensis.
Is there much of a difference between these juneberries and native serviceberries?
YES. Juneberries are high-volume producers of sweeter, usually larger, and far more abundant berries compared to serviceberry. Cultivated (named) varieties of juneberries have been selected and propagated for more than 100 years in North America.
Do you recommend certain varieties?
YES. Juneberry varieties exist because of their consistency in growth form, disease resistance, berry flavor, ripening, and hardiness. Most varieties will perform well, and our short list includes: Smoky, JB-30, Martin, Northline, Thiessen, Honeywood, and Regent.
If you purchase an unnamed variety, you will eventually get berries that will probably taste fine, but it is impossible to predict any other aspect (bush height, ripening period, spray program).
Is there a manual or production publication available?
We are in the process of developing Northeastern US grower guidelines and best practices. These will be in the form of PDF juneberry production bulletins, starting in October 2011, and posted to this website. If you would like to be on the e-mail notification list when new bulletins are posted, please send an e-mail requesting notification to Jim Ochterski at firstname.lastname@example.org.