Elderberry Bushes

Reviving Black Lace Elderberry

Anonymous added on April 9, 2016 | Answered

Can I revive a Black Lace Elderberry that has broken limbs at the base? It produces some leaves, berries, blooms. My black lace elderberry shrub was beautiful, although not well shaped for 6-8 years. I did prune it, however. Some of the branches broke half way through and are leaning down, some touching the ground. I have been tying them upwards to a support for the last couple of years. Can I revive it by pruning the branches to a foot tall? Or should I give up, dig it up, and plant a new elderberry? I love this shrub in my front yard. It gets some afternoon sun. I am in zone 4. Please help!

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Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on April 10, 2016

I would not give up on your elderberry. A good pruning will revive it.

Older wood on elderberries tends to lose vigor and become weak. The best time to prune is in early spring. It is generally recommended to prune out branches more than 3 years old (because they are less productive) and any dead, broken or weak canes. It is also recommended to hard prune (to the ground) elderberries in early spring every three years.

For more information on elderberries, please visit the following link:

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