Amelanchier alnifolia ‘Obelisk’

Family: Rosaceae

Countries: Americas, Canada, North America

Amelanchier alnifolia ‘Obelisk’ is a small tree with a slim and naturally upright habit that’s a popular choice for small gardens – thanks to this plant’s fastigiated, narrow vertical growth.

A number of years ago, I planted this lovely tree in my own garden; I’ve found Amelanchier alnifolia ‘Obelisk’ is a pretty tree that’s easy to accommodate – it thrives in my garden’s well-drained, sandy soil.  If your soil tends to be heavier or wetter, this tree isn’t for you; as Amelanchier alnifolia ‘Obelisk’ needs a well-drained soil to flourish.  These compact trees thrive in sandy, silty, and well-drained, loamy soils, but decline in heavy clay, or wet, waterlogged soils.  If you’re considering growing this tree, you might want to do a soil test first – Amelanchier alnifolia ‘Obelisk’ flourishes in acid or neutral soils but isn’t as keen to grow in limey, alkaline soil.

In springtime, Amelanchier alnifolia ‘Obelisk’ produces snowy white blossom, which is popular with bees and hoverflies; by late summer, this Amelanchier’s blueberry-like, edible fruits ripen to a deep wine colour.  Amalanchier fruits are popular with birds so you will need to remember to harvest them promptly if you want to enjoy them yourself – some gardeners say these fruit ripen in late autumn, but in my garden Amelanchier alnifolia ‘Obelisk’ berries ripen by July, or mid to late summertime.  I am fortunate to have many birds visiting my garden and they devour these fruit; I am lucky if I can enjoy tasting one or two Amelanchier fruits from my tree!  Amelanchier alnifolia ‘Obelisk’ fruits can be eaten fresh or used to make crumbles, pies, jellies, or jams.  However, I’ve not managed to do anything with the one or two fruits the birds leave me each year – I’ve only eaten Amalanchier berries fresh – they taste lovely – rather like blueberries.

Amelanchier alnifolia ‘Obelisk’ thrives in bright and sunny or partial shaded areas; these trees have no desire to grow in the shade, so choose a location where Amelanchier alnifolia ‘Obelisk’ can bask in the sunshine!  This is a slow growing tree that is ideally suited to growing in small spaces.  Amelanchier alnifolia ‘Obelisk’ grows up to 2.5m (8.2ft) tall, forming a tree that spreads just 1m (3.2ft) wide.  I’ve never pruned my Amelanchier alnifolia ‘Obelisk’ tree – these trees don’t require any pruning or training – their branches all have a natural vertical, upright habit.  Amelanchier alnifolia ‘Obelisk’ is a slender tree that’s hardy even in the harshest of winters.

If you’ve decided to grow Amelanchier alnifolia ‘Obelisk’ in your garden, help your tree by applying mycorrhizal fungi to the roots at planting time.  Water your tree well before and after planting, and then mulch with home-made compost or a good quality, peat-free compost.  Take care of your tree; remember to water your tree after planting, giving it the water from two full watering cans.  Irrigate your trees regularly, especially in times of drought, and during your tree’s first two years of growth.  Insert an angled stake that points in the direction of the prevailing wind, then take a soft but strong material (old stockings are ideal) and wrap the material around the trunk, do this fairly low down, near the base of the tree and then tie your tree to the stake.

Amelanchier alnifolia ‘Obelisk’ is an ideal choice of tree to plant in low-maintenance gardens, wildlife gardens, and small gardens.  The plant’s foliage is lightly bronzed when it first emerges; the leaves become a delightful fresh leaf-green after a couple of weeks of growth and remain so during the growing season; the foliage turns attractive russet colours before falling in early autumn.

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