Category Archives: Small Trees and Large Shrubs

Pacific Serviceberry

Amelanchier alnifolia

Pacific serviceberry (Amelanchier alnifolia) is a large shrub or small tree, with mature dimensions to 18’ by 10’, sometimes larger. Leaves are round to oval, 1-2 inches long and entire at base but serrate at the top. It bears fragrant white flowers from mid-spring to early summer followed by dark blue, edible pomes, ¼ to ½ inch in diameter.

Serviceberry is a common and wide-spread species, growing native from Alaska to California, and across Great Plains into eastern Canada. It grows in full sun to partial shade, and tolerates dry, moist, or wet soil. The best autumn color is found on shrubs in sunnier sites.

In additional to being edible, the plant has medicinal and other uses. Fruit is well-liked by wildlife and flowers attract pollinators.


  • Light Requirements: Full Sun, Part Shade
  • Water Requirements: Dry, Moist, Seasonally Wet
  • Ease of Growing: Easy to grow
  • Growth Rate: Moderate
  • Spreads: No
  • Wildlife Support: Pollinators, Pest-eating Insects, Birds or Mammals
  • Edible: Yes
  • Mature Height: 15-30ft
  • Mature Width: 10-20ft

Red elderberry

Sambucus racemosa

Red elderberry (Sambucus racemosa) is a large shrub or small tree, with mature dimensions to 20 feet tall by 10 feet wide. It grows from full sun to full shade, and prefers moist to wet soil. It is deciduous with large, compound leaves. White flowers bloom from early-spring to mid summer in 1.5”-3” pyramidal clusters. Bright red berry-like drupes are toxic to humans unless properly cooked.

Red elderberry attracts hummingbirds, pollinators, and beneficial insects.


  • Light Requirements: Full Sun, Part Shade, Full Shade
  • Water Requirements: Moist, Wet
  • Ease of Growing: Easy to grow
  • Growth Rate: Fast
  • Spreads:
  • Wildlife Support: Pollinators, Hummingbirds, Pest-eating Insects
  • Edible: Toxic if eaten raw - must be properly cooked
  • Mature Height: 10-20ft
  • Mature Width: 6-10ft

Chokecherry

Chokecherry (Prunus virginiana)
Prunus virginiana

Chokecherry (Prunus virginiana) is a deciduous, thicket-forming shrub or small tree. Estimates for mature height vary widely from 12-40 feet. It bears ½-inch fragrant white flowers in cylindrical clusters, blooming late spring to mid summer. The leaves are oval, serrated, 2-4 inches long and pointed at the tip. The fruit is a ¼-½ inch cherry (drupe) that starts red and becomes purple or black. The fruit is considered edible but quite tart, and is more likely to be used for jellies or wine than eaten raw. The seeds (pits) are considered toxic; they contain cyanide.

Chokecherry is common across the United States with black (var. melanocarpa) and western (var. demissa) varieties occurring natively in Oregon.


  • Light Requirements: Full Sun, Part Shade
  • Water Requirements: Dry, Moist, Seasonally Wet
  • Ease of Growing: Moderate
  • Growth Rate: Moderate
  • Spreads: Yes
  • Wildlife Support: Birds or Mammals
  • Edible: Yes
  • Mature Height: 12-40ft
  • Mature Width: 10-20ft

Black hawthorn

Black hawthorn (Crataegus douglasii)
Crataegus douglasii

Black Hawthorn (Crataegus douglasii) is a deciduous, thicket-forming shrub or small tree. Estimates for mature height vary widely from 20-40 feet. It is a common plant in Oregon and Washington on both sides of the Cascades, growing in moist, well-drained soils. The black hawthorn is an important species for wildlife, attracting pollinators and providing protected nesting and edible fruits for birds and other small wildlife.

Leaves are 1½ -3 inches, doubly serrated, ovate, and sometimes lobed. Small white flowers bloom in clusters from late spring to early summer. The fruit is purple-black pome (similar to a hard berry, but with a dense core containing the seeds), ¼ to ½ inch.


  • Light Requirements: Full Sun, Part Shade
  • Water Requirements: Moist (well-drained)
  • Ease of Growing: Easy to grow
  • Growth Rate: Moderate
  • Spreads: No
  • Wildlife Support: Pollinators, Hummingbirds, Birds or Mammals
  • Edible: No
  • Mature Height: 20-40ft
  • Mature Width: 6-10ft

Oval Leaved Viburnum

Oval-leaved Viburnum (Viburnum ellipticum)
Viburnum ellipticum

Oval-leaved viburnum (Viburnum ellipticum) is a broadleaf, deciduous shrub of three-season interest. Viburnum is also known as the “wayfaring tree.” It attracts pollinators and beneficial insects, and provides food and shelter for birds and other wildlife.

Viburnum’s form is erect and loosely-branched. Leaves are 1-3 inches, simple, ovate to almost round and coarsely toothed. Clusters of small white flowers bloom in late spring and early summer. Fruit is a red drupe, becoming black. Foliage turns red in the autumn.

Oval-leaved viburnum is native west of the Cascades in Oregon and Washington, where it is found mainly on the edges of deciduous woods and along streams. This shrub tolerates seasonal flooding and drought.


  • Light Requirements: Full Sun, Part Shade, Full Shade
  • Water Requirements: Dry, Moist
  • Ease of Growing: Easy to grow
  • Growth Rate: Moderate
  • Spreads:
  • Wildlife Support: Pollinators, Pest-eating Insects, Birds or Mammals
  • Edible:
  • Mature Height: 5-15ft
  • Mature Width: 6-10ft

Pacific Crabapple

Pacific crabapple (Malus fusca)
Malus fusca

In the spring, small, pinkish-white fragrant blossoms hang in clusters from this native tree. By mid-summer, 3/4″ long crabapples appear. The fruits are quite sour, but appeal to birds and animals. The fruit turns yellow to reddish in the fall, and the leaves provide fall color in shades of orange and bright red.

  • Light Requirements: Full Sun, Part Shade
  • Water Requirements: Moist, Seasonally Wet
  • Ease of Growing: Moderate
  • Growth Rate: Moderate
  • Spreads: No
  • Wildlife Support: Pollinators, Hummingbirds, Pest-eating Insects, Birds or Mammals
  • Edible: Yes
  • Mature Height: 30ft
  • Mature Width: 25ft
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