Sambucus Nigra black lace

MrsGardenMrsGarden Posts: 3,952
I've had a sambucus Nigra black lace for about 5-6 years and it's always been quite small and easy to keep neat. This year it's gone mad! It has thick upward shoots making it taller than I'd like. Is this just what it's going to do? Or can I tame it again? Ideally would like it to remain a neat 5-6 ft height by 3ft width, as it's always been. I've just pruned ad hoc when it's visibly needed. Now it seems I need to be cleverer in pruning or replace it. It is actually in a position where it can become a large tree but I'd rather it stay small.
Advice needed and welcome 

Posts

  • Ladybird4Ladybird4 Third rock from the sunPosts: 25,369
    Hello Mrs Garden. There was a question earlier on this week about Sambucus nigra. It responds well to brutal pruning and mine is kept to about 4 feet high by 3 feet wide because I want it to be a shrub rather than a tree. I have a tall branch from mine now which is about 8-9 feet high but it will be cut back to 4 feet when it drops its leaves. I do that every year.
    Cacoethes: An irresistible urge to do something inadvisable
  • MrsGardenMrsGarden Posts: 3,952
    Thank you ladybird4. I will wait and do the same. 
  • Ladybird4Ladybird4 Third rock from the sunPosts: 25,369
    You are most welcome.
    Cacoethes: An irresistible urge to do something inadvisable
  • ElothirElothir Posts: 39
    edited 24 August
    Just to hop onto this question with a very similar question, we have a black lace which is probably pushing 9-10ft but isn't terribly dense all over (it's a little lopsided to be honest). We've only ever done light pruning on it and it's been slowly chugging along for a good few years so it has a decent sized 'trunk', (so cutting it very low or even to the ground is probably not an option even if we wanted to).

    Is there a way we could encourage it to 'bush out' a bit at around the 5-7ft range without it getting rather spindly looking and also restricting it's height around the upper end of that range? Preferably whilst preserving the flowers (though I appreciate keeping it pruned back to an acceptable height might involve sacrificing them every few years).



  • Ladybird4Ladybird4 Third rock from the sunPosts: 25,369
    To increase its bushiness you need to cut all the top growth back to the height you wish it to be. This can be done throughout the growing season if necessary, you don't have to wait until it goes dormant.
    Cacoethes: An irresistible urge to do something inadvisable
  • ElothirElothir Posts: 39
    So basically just keep lopping the top off when it pokes up above a certain height? 

    I think I can manage that  :) Thanks.
  • Ladybird4Ladybird4 Third rock from the sunPosts: 25,369
    Yes Elothir. Simple but effective and the Sambucus copes really well.
    Cacoethes: An irresistible urge to do something inadvisable
  • HelixHelix 704m altitude...Posts: 548
    Blimey, we cut our Sambucus (thundercloud not black lace) down to the ground each year, and easily get a 6ft x 4ft bush!   On one we leave maybe 4 shoots each so we get some flowers and those bushes are maybe 10ft x10ft by now...   If we nibble at them we find that we end up with weedy growth that doesn’t look nice.    Sounds like Black Lace is a much more delicate variety! 
Sign In or Register to comment.