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By Jpea

West Yorkshire, United Kingdom Gb

Please advise me when and how to prune this barely 2 year old Sambucus 'Black lace' it's about 60cm high currently

Thank you




I would wait until next month and then prune the stems by about one third to half just above a bud. If you look they normally appear in pairs so each cut will produce two new stems. This will encourage the plant to stiffen up but you could always leave it alone.

10 Feb, 2019


Thank you Jimmy, that makes sense

10 Feb, 2019


I'm no expert on these, but I do have a few, including this one. If it were mine, I think I'd leave it to grow for another year and then do as Jimmy says above. Its so tiny!

10 Feb, 2019


Gorgeous puppy by the way!

10 Feb, 2019


I also think I would leave it for another year to allow it to be a bit bigger. then prune as suggested.

10 Feb, 2019


I never pruned mine at all until it grew too tall, and then i just took out the tallest branches.When pruning these you have to decide if you want flowers.If you do, prune after flowering. if you don't you can prune when dormant. But they are so tough its not worth losing sleep over! Obviously if you want to keep it small and compact rather than an natural shrub shape this affects how you do it.
But this year I would leave it alone. Then prune the first time to encourage a side shoot to balance the lean, unless you want to stake it.

10 Feb, 2019


Thanks for that Stera. It took me a few years to work out that if I pruned mine hard in late winter as most books and sites advise, I lost all the lovely flowers and berries for the birds. Now I tend to crop them after they have flowered in autumn. Its a much better idea! Mind you, the foliage is a lot bigger without the flowers, so that's something to bear in mind too.

10 Feb, 2019


Thank you Karen (Poppy is a wonderful puppy), Seabird & Stera I think it's best if I leave well alone especially as we maybe moving around the middle of this year.

10 Feb, 2019


Goodness - well if you are going to move and want to take it with you it would be best to pot it up now while its still dormant. If you try to move it in full leaf it may not survive the move.

Lol, Karen, its something you kick yourself for after the event isn't it? Luckily Goy taught me that before I did it wrong...

Jpea, just another thought - you have it quite near the fence and to at least one other young shrub. Its a good idea to look up the size at maturity of shrubs before you plant them, and put them in allowing for that. Its easier to fill in between while waiting for them to grow than it is to keep lopping them when they get too near to each other. You have to remember too that a shrub will grow all the way round not just in front so leave enough room behind them tempting though it is to put them along a fence.

I know you didnd't ask that - sorry, just can't help it...

10 Feb, 2019


Interesting that you say these plants are tough Stera. I've had one for a few years now and every year I think it has died but no, suddenly there are signs of life. However it barely grows and I think last year had about 2 leaves! Is my very sunny garden the problem - or me?

13 Feb, 2019

How do I say thanks?

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