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Black Lace Sambucus tree

This bush has turned into a tree and has been brilliant for years,  it was here when I bought the house in 2007 so is quite old.  This year the leaves have started to wilt and are all dying and breaking off.  Is it the drought we are having.  I live in Sussex and we have had not proper rain for ages now.  I have never had a problem with it.  I read it could be an infestation of worms or aphids but I cannot see any sign of either.  My neighbour also has one and it looks like his is doing the same.  Thank you


  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,567
    my bog standard Elders are the same, I hope that cutting them well back this winter will produce new stems in spring. It's the weather, we often get the dry here but not the high temperature
  • thevictorianthevictorian Posts: 577
    It will be because of the lack of water. Plants shed leaves to conserve water. Our local woods look like autumn already with all the dried up leaves.
    You may get some dieback in the sambucus but it will likely resprout from the bottom even if most of the top growth dies. They can be brutely hacked back if needed with some chopping them down to the ground every couple of years. 
  • Thank you so much guys.  I am so glad as it really is a beautiful plant.  We will cut it right back this year.
  • GardenerSuzeGardenerSuze I garden in South Notts on an improved clay soil Posts: 2,023
    @suethompson64 The leaves on mine are brown at the edges I am sure it is scorch and lack of water. Trim in Autumn and cut back in spring you will have bigger leaves but maybe no flowers. It shoots al  along the stems so easy to prune.
  • JennyJJennyJ DoncasterPosts: 6,633
    Mine aren't turning brown (yet), but the leaves are smaller and sparser than normal, which I expect is because spring (when they put on most of their growth) was so dry. They're used to dry summers here, and are planted where they get shade for part of the day from the house and from my amelianchier tree which I think helps, but no rain at all in April is very unusual.
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