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11 messages
16/05/2013 at 10:05

 Hi I have a Black Lace elder tree(sambucas nigra) that has been established for about six years.Earlier this year I had about 16 plants with blackish/green leaves shoot up in a line next to it. Assuming that they were from the tree I potted them to see what happened,but now they seem to have a completely different leaf to the tree.Can anyone identify if they are elder plants as,if they are,I would like to plant them elswhere.  

16/05/2013 at 20:00

If these plants have come up as seedlings, then I suspect that they don't come true from seed, (having cross pollinated with a normal wild elder) and will therefore be more like the native elder. S nigra 'Black Lace' is usually propogated from cuttings.

If you bruise the leaves, elder has a very distinctive smell.

16/05/2013 at 20:09

My black lace hasn't produced any self sets, but one on occasion a piece got broken off, I just stuck in in the soil alongside it, as you's now 4 feet high & happy in my friend's garden.

16/05/2013 at 21:26

I would expect any of those fancy elders to seed back to something like the wild ones.

16/05/2013 at 22:00

I think you may be right nutcutlet. I have a black lace with a seedling similar to the one in cherokee's photos.

As Kef says it does also come true from cuttings - courtesy of my postman who stood on one the the branches just after I planted it

17/05/2013 at 09:57

Hi  Thanks for the replies. Looking on leaf ID sites I think you are right and it is a native elder.I am going to use them to try and grow some hedge screening at my daughters. With regular pruning it may work,or it may not,but worth a try.

17/05/2013 at 10:00

I'd forget elder for a hedge cherokee. It grows too fast, gets all leggy. You can cut it back every year and have a decent barrier by the end of the season but half the year you have nothing. 

17/05/2013 at 11:03

can I ask anyone out there a slighty off the subject question about elders? I have a gorgeous black elder in my garden which was planted before I moved in around 8 years ago and was large then. I have over the years cut it down drastically but it always comes back - it currently is around 10' plus . My neighbour wants me to cut it down as he says it is a tree and is way too close to his house (about 2.5m) and he thinks the roots will damage his foundations. If he's right I guess it is and I will cut it down but sadly as it it so beautiful in the summer when all the pink flowers come out. Can anyone tell me if this is a shrub or a tree and whether the roots would be problematice so close to a house?

17/05/2013 at 11:19

Yes I realise it will only be for half the year.My daughters front garden is 90' long with a public footpath running across it.She just wants a simple barrier between the footpath and the house,and it seemed a waste to bin these plants.

19/05/2013 at 10:06

Julie, they can be either, but Sambucus nigra Black Lace is a shrub and my experience - I've had mine in about 6 years - the roots won't travel that far. I cut about a third of mine out each year in late winter/early spring and it puts on a good 6ft each year. As long as you time the pruning right you'll still get those beautiful flowers.

Even if it was a tree, most trees don't damage house foundations anyway 

20/05/2013 at 12:26

Thanks for that - if I promise to keep it trimmed and not too wild my neighbour might be happier!

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