Top Questions About Black Elder

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Questions About Black Elder

Asked by
Anonymous on
September 6, 2015

Q. black elder

I planted a black elder about 4/5 weeks ago. It is dying from the bottom up [leaves turning paler color and falling off]. What could be the cause? Other shrubs planted at same time in same area are all ok. I would buy another but if I don’t know what I did wrong, I could do it again.

Answered by
Downtoearthdigs on
September 8, 2015
Certified Expert
A.

There may be air pockets in the soil, which are preventing the roots from taking up water. This can be alleviated by flooding the area with water and tamping down the soil around the plant to collapse any air pockets.

If this does not seem to be the issue, check the drainage to ensure that your soil is not staying too wet for the plant, which can lead to root rot - often seen with yellowing, wilting and dropping of leaves.

Finally, it could be a fungus of some sort affecting your tree. Treat with a general fungicide like Neem oil.

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Asked by
Kisa on
May 27, 2017

Q. Sambucus nigra Black Lace

The leaves on all the branches from the main trunk of my Black lace Elderberry wilted literally over night. Yesterday it looked fine and healthy, today the leaves are on all branches coming from the main trunk are severely wilted. The new growth still looks fine. I have had the shrub about 8 years and this is the first time this has happened. It is growing in part shade, zone 6. What could it be and what should I do?

Answered by
Downtoearthdigs on
May 29, 2017
Certified Expert
A.

While most Elderberry plants are susceptible to various fungi, viruses and borers, Black Lace is particularly susceptible to Verticilium Wilt and borers. The only way to confirm if a disease is causing this dieback would be to send a sample to a diagnostic lab which you may want to do if the same pattern occurs in the next growing season.

For now, I suggest you prune back your plant to within a foot of the ground (which will encourage new growth in the spring). As you cut off the woody stems, look to see if there is any sign of borer damage on the inside of each branch. If not, then most likely the dieback was caused by a fungus or disease. Except for Verticilim Wilt, most diseases are manageable with the use of fungicides and good environmental controls.

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