This is one underrated fruit. It has pretty blooms in the spring, vibrant red foliage in the fall, produces fruit that in my opinion is tastier than blueberries, requires no special attention, and is super hardy to our climate. Let’s face it, it grows wild here. It requires no green thumb. If you like blue fruits in general, it makes excellent syrups, jams, pies, and wine. The one strike against is the few seeds in them, which for some probably compromises the texture. No biggie to my palate. Oh…and it suckers and self propagates prolifically, which to me is a pro, and to others may be a con.
I will say that the cultivated varietals I have experience with – smoky and thiessen – seem to be far superior to the wild plants. Clearly they were selected for size and flavor. When picking last year, I was astonished to learn that these things can get as big or bigger than any cultivated blueberry I’d ever seen. I also wonder if they were selected for moisture content, as these in the photo are juicier than a blueberry – wild saskatoons can be pretty dry, another reason I think some folks have a bias against.
Yields are actually heavier one might suspect: 2-3 kg/bush min up to 15kg when thiessens are catching their stride at year 7-8. I have about 20 or so young bushes bordering my front yard [roughly half thiessens], so it appears I can look forward to 40-300kg of saskatoon harvest down the road. That’s a lot of berries. Good thing they make good wine.