Serviceberry Amelanchier spp.
Family: Rosaceae (Rose)
Branching: Alternate

Common shrubs or small trees in Ontario forests, but never occurring in any sort of density.  There is much dispute over the number of species, but it is not usually difficult to identify the genus.  One of the main characteristics is the smooth, light grey bark.  Often it has faint vertical stripes down it.  The buds can vary quite a bit, looking sometimes like Poplar or Beech, or even Chokeberry, but they always tend to be reddish, thin, pointed and slightly twisted.  Often they have faint hairs along the edges of the scales.

Serviceberry winter twig

Two twigs of Serviceberry

End bud

Another winter twig of Serviceberry

Winter twig.  Sometimes the buds can be almost a quarter of this typical size.

Another winter twig of a different species of Serviceberry

This is on the extreme end in terms of hairy buds for Serviceberry

Typical Serviceberry fruits, with a rose-hip appearance.
A few remaining and shriveled fruits can often be found in the winter.

The tell-tale bark of Serviceberry

Young bark.  Notice the faint vertical streaks

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copyright © 2008 Josh Sayers
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