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Amelanchier arborea and Alosa sapidissima

The Shadbush (Amelanchier arborea)

The Shadbush’s white blossoms appear in early spring at the same time American Shad, Alosa sapidissima, return to the Hudson, Connecticut and Delaware Rivers for the annual spawning


Also called juneberry, serviceberry and shadblow, it grows at a rate of 24 inches per year and can reach 30 feet tall. It prefers full sun to partial shade. Its canopy width is from 15 to 20 feet, has smooth gray bark and dainty, white flowers.

Since it is one of the first blossoms of spring, it stands out against a drab spring background.

In June small, apple like fruit folks call a Juneberry develops. The berries provide food for songbirds, mourning doves, raccoons, wild turkeys, skunks, fox, black bears, and squirrels.

Some folks use the berries for jams, jellies and pies

To me the Shadbush’s most important function is telling me there are Shad in the river.

Point to remember

When the Shad Tree blooms, Shad are in the river.

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