For the first time since we moved onto our property, we have never realized we were surrounded by wild berries. Out our front window, we watched for years the humming birds fight over a large series of bushes that bloomed each spring, but we have never spied any fruit upon it, until now. The bushes are loaded with blue looking berries. I tried a couple berries and realize quickly it was not a blueberry bush. The berries did not have much taste. My wife texted a friend and local resident and asked, “What kind of plant is this?” with an attached picture. The bushes were quickly identified as Serviceberry trees.
The Serviceberry has other names as well, June berries, and Saskatoon berries. This year they are prolific. For years we have noticed this trees/bushes, but never notice them produce a single berry, but this year the boughs are bending over, loaded with them. Walking about the property, I am seeing Serviceberry trees in several different locations. Berries are produced on every tree, some more than others, but not one tree is bare. The deer and moose have been cleaning the lower branches of the berries. Yes, we saw a male moose the other evening and his paddles were growing quite nicely. The birds have been eating the higher branches, and we gleaned the middle branches. There are so many berries on these trees; we can’t pick them all and many will go to waste.
Today, we spent about half an hour and picked almost 2 gallons of berries from the trees located a few yards off our front door. Krista is planning on making jam which, after researching online, many people love. These wild berries aren’t sweet, but when sugar is added, the flavor of the berries are enhanced, but not overpowering. The Saskatoon berry is kind of like a watered down blueberry. We only had a few blueberries on our plants in the orchard this year, so the Saskatoon berries are a real treat.
Our summer weather could easily explain the arrival of our Saskatoon berries. This year we have not experienced an extreme heat wave like last year. June was wet this year, but did not drown out the plants as it has done in years past. May was nice and warm, allowing the blossoms to be pollinated following a nice wet and slowly warming April. The conditions of this year’s summer have been perfect for the Saskatoons.