pruning an elder now

FireFire LondonPosts: 5,480

Hi,

I have an elder tree that is pretty large. The branches are rubbing against the roof of two sheds and causing problems. I would like to lop off two or three branches to stop damage to the sheds. Could I do it now or would I have to wait for winter? What risks does it pose to the tree?

Thanks

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Posts

  • KT53KT53 Posts: 3,607

    Elder is tough as old boots so cutting branches off now isn't likely to do any harm.  I cut one down to a stump about 4 feet high a couple of years ago.  It's now well over 10 feet high again.

  • FireFire LondonPosts: 5,480

    Thanks

  • FireFire LondonPosts: 5,480

    I hear they are quite short lived trees. I'm wondering if mine is coming to the end of it's life. It's around 20 ft high - I inherited it, so I don't how old it is. I don't really want to pay for a tree surgeon to give a five minute option if it's fine.... any thoughts on how I might know

  • Mary370Mary370 Limerick, Ireland Posts: 1,436

    If I take the tips off my black elder in an attempt to make new plants. ......will it stop flowers appearing next year?

  • KT53KT53 Posts: 3,607

    If you're talking about the standard elder rather than the black elder, I haven't found it to be short lived.  The bottom part of the trunk must be nearly a foot across and has part of a chain link fence embedded in it.  We've been in the house nearly 30 years and we didn't plant it!

  • josusa47josusa47 Posts: 2,411

    Mary370, in my experience, elder is easy to grow from seed.  I just put a few fresh berries into small pots of garden soil, left them outside all winter and by midsummer I had lots of little bushes, a few inches tall, very leafy and looking as though they meant business.  (This was many years ago, I'm blowed if I can remember what I did with them!)

  • FireFire LondonPosts: 5,480

    Thanks

  • The blackbirds eat all my berries and then 'plant' seeds all over the garden. I keep having to root out elder saplings.

    The birds don't seem to like to nest in them though - we have an old one that is probably at least 40 and it has never had a nest in it . The branches do sometimes die off and are quite brittle, so perhaps the birds can tell?

  • FireFire LondonPosts: 5,480

    Hi Buttercup, my branches are dying off too. Do healthy elder trees do this as a matter of course?

  • Mary370Mary370 Limerick, Ireland Posts: 1,436

    Joshua47...........I've not had flowers or berries for years, as I've been cutting it back.....I had forgotten that it did produce pink flowers until I saw a large black elder recently!  

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