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Hi, I inherited this elderberry which is a bit out of control

Kent, United Kingdom Gb

Hi, I inherited this elderberry tree which is a bit out of control ;). Any tips on how to cut it back to size please? It's presently about 8 foot high, I don't think it should be this big? It's flowering at the moment, will I have to wait before being able to cut it? Thanks for any help.

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If you are referring to Sambucus nigra, the actual elderberry tree, it can grow to 30 foot so 8 foot is not tall. I'm not up on the pruning of elderberries but this is Garden Organics advice

26 Jun, 2012


Elderberry shrubs/trees are born survivors, I know I've tried to kill enough of them. You can prune hard back and it will recover quite well. Sambucus nigra is a really nice shrub.

26 Jun, 2012


Nothing to do with the question really but it used to be said that they keep witches away and it seems to work because we haven't been troubled by any! It also used to be said that before you cut anything from an elder you should politely ask its permission - don't know what's supposed to happen if you forget...

26 Jun, 2012


...They refuse to keep the witches away - watch out!

26 Jun, 2012


Ooo-er...lucky I remembered to ask for a flower to make elderflower tea then!

26 Jun, 2012


You could chop it back to a stump, if you wanted to, but if you wanted flowers next year, I would do it immediately after it bloomed this year. Another possibility would be to cut the longest stems back severely this year, but leave the shorter ones alone. Next year, take the remaining ones out.

27 Jun, 2012


Hi everyone, I'm a newcomer on the site, and much enjoying it. Re the comments on elder trees and witches, here in France they also have the superstition about this tree wards off witches (they are often planted next to animal shelters especially if remote from the farm). However, in my garden one has self-seeded INTO my (little-used) backdoor-step... (My children claim it must be to keep the witch, IN!)

Seriously: I can't dig it out - it's between two huge old paving stones - please can someone give me a tip as to how best to dispose of it (I will ask its permission, first!) as it doesn't sound as though just keeping chopping it back will work? The sapling is now about 2-3 ft. tall... Thanks!

1 Jul, 2012

How do I say thanks?

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