Home Gardening Techniques How to Prune Sambucus: A Step-by-Step Guide for Beginners

How to Prune Sambucus: A Step-by-Step Guide for Beginners

by Donna
2 minutes read

Pruning Sambucus: A Guide for Beginners


Pruning is an important part of gardening. It helps keep plants healthy and looking their best. Sambucus, also known as elder, is a type of shrub that can benefit from pruning. Pruning sambucus can help keep it compact and healthy, and it can also encourage flowering and fruiting.

When to Prune Sambucus

The best time to prune sambucus is in late winter or early spring, before new growth begins. This will give the plant time to recover from pruning and put on new growth in the spring.

How to Prune Sambucus

To prune sambucus, follow these steps:

  1. Examine the plant. Look for any diseased or damaged branches. These should be removed first.
  2. Cut back long stems. Use sharp loppers or secateurs to cut back long stems to just above a node. A node is a bulge or leaf scar on the stem.
  3. Remove old or weak shoots. Cut out any old or weak shoots that are not producing new growth.
  4. Create a well-formed framework. Keep cutting back stems until you have created a well-formed framework for the plant. This framework should have no weak stems at the base.

Benefits of Pruning Sambucus

Pruning sambucus has a number of benefits, including:

  • Keeps the plant compact and healthy
  • Encourages flowering and fruiting
  • Improves air circulation
  • Reduces the risk of disease

Tips for Pruning Sambucus

Here are a few tips for pruning sambucus:

  • Always use sharp tools.
  • Cut at a slant to prevent water from collecting on the cut.
  • Remove all diseased or damaged branches.
  • Don’t be afraid to cut back hard. Sambucus can tolerate hard pruning.
  • After pruning, fertilize the plant to help it recover.


Pruning sambucus is a simple task that can have a big impact on the health and appearance of the plant. By following these tips, you can keep your sambucus looking its best for years to come.

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