London (change)
7 messages
19/09/2012 at 19:22

I have a mature elder -sambucus nigra and want to give it a boost. Has anyone ever cut a sambucus fairly severely? The thickest branches are about 4 to 5 inches in diameter. I live in West Yorkshire (thought that might help in terms of knowing when to prune)

19/09/2012 at 19:44
I cut both sambucus Sutherland gold and nigra to the ground every,year. They recover very well by producing quality leaf and growth to 6 or 7 feet. Yours is much older wood but you dont say,how old and what size it is. I would cut it hard back to framework keeping much of the old branches.
19/09/2012 at 19:51

Hi Flowerpower, I have a sambucus nigra and a black lace but they are in tubs. They get hard pruned every Spring for the foliage but with your tree , I found this information. It looks a little different.

Hope this helps.

20/09/2012 at 09:19

Thank you so much for your help! I'm going to cut it back, even though it's 13 years old and has chunky branches at the base. I never understand why people think it has an unappealing scent- I love it!

22/09/2012 at 20:08

Hi flowerpower, I too cut back my overgrown Sambucus hard in spring, it was a

"muck or nettles" job, it has rewarded me with lovely foliage and a much better


Hope this is helpful 

23/09/2012 at 20:40

Thank you! The said elder was full of finches today- popping out to feed from our feeder once the starlings had retreated so I'll definitely wait till late winter but am encouraged by all of your advice.

23/09/2012 at 21:55
As said on another post I stool many shrubs.....elders, Acer flamingo. Eucalyptus, physocarpus Diablo, purple berberis, Cornus etc and all respond with excellent shape and leaf colour and of manageable size every year
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7 messages