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Saturday, July 20, 2013





Friday,  7:45 AM.  76 degrees F, wind N and light at ground level, but atmospheric clouds are being pushed by a strong WNW wind.  lf an hour ago the sky was mostly overcast, and within ten minutes lit cleared completely.  the sky is mostly clear at present.  the humidity is 85%, and we got .4" of rain last night when a front came through.  The barometer is more or less steady at 29.61".  Today's weather is a tossup, but I need it to be cooler and not rain to get the landscape job I am working on done.
   I have written often about the Juneberry as a fine small ornamental street tree, as well as its place in the native landscape as an early spring-blooming forest understory and woods-edge  plant.  The Amelanchier genus, in the rose family, is native to temperate regions of the northern hemisphere.  There are at least two dozen species in North America, and very many natural hybrids.  The genus is closely allied with apple and mountain ash.  There are several species that are very valuable in landscaping and horticulture, including A. laevis and canadensis.  There are also selections which are shrubby and are grown for their fruit.  The common names for the Amelanchier are Juneberry, serviceberry, and  shadbllow, or shadbush.  In French Canada it is known as Poirer or Petit Poirer.  
   Juneberry fruit is quite pleasant to the taste when fully ripe,  even if rather bland.  It is often used in jams and jellies.  the berries are very small, and do not ripen all at once, making harvesting difficult.  Unless the plants are netted the birds will usually get to the fruit first.  I have even seen chipmunks scampering along the branches gathering the berries.  The few seeds  are very tiny and can be eaten right along with the  berry.  This is another rather pleasant fruit that is, to me, not really worth the effort to pick.
   The Juneberries are several weeks late this year, due to our cool, wet spring.  Perhaps they should be called Julyberries.

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