bushes How To Prune Elderberry Bushes: The Ultimate Guide for 2021

Elderberry plants are a great addition to any garden, but they can become overwhelming if left unpruned. Pruning elderberries is important for maintaining the health of the plant and ensuring that it produces fruit year after year. In this blog post, we will discuss how to prune elderberry.

When to prune elderberry

The best time to prune an elderberry plant is in late winter or early spring when it’s dormant. Pruning during this time allows you to see the structure of the plant clearly and make precise cuts without damaging new growth.

Tools needed

Before pruning your elderberry plant, make sure you have all the necessary tools:

– Sharp pruning shears
– Loppers (for thicker branches)
– A saw (for thick branches)

Pruning techniques

1. Remove deadwood and diseased wood

Start by removing any dead or diseased wood from your elderberry plant using sharp pruning shears. Look for stems that are blackened or shriveled, as these may be signs of disease or damage caused by pests such as borers.

2. Cut back old wood

Elderberries produce fruit on one-year-old wood, so cutting back old wood encourages new growth and more fruit production. Identify older woody stems that produced fruit last season and cut them down to 3 inches above ground level.

3. Thin out crowded areas

It’s common for elderberries to develop dense clusters of shoots near their base over time, which can reduce airflow within the bush leading to diseases such as powdery mildew; therefore thinning them out provides ample space between each stem promoting healthy growth.

4.Shape up tall plants

If your elders grow too tall then use loppers or a saw trimming down some top branches allowing light penetration into lower parts creating healthier foliage at bottom area of matured bushed while enhancing its aesthetics with regular uniform shape-up regime yearly based upon need basis .

5. Reduce or eliminate suckers

Lastly, remove any unwanted vertical shoots known as suckers that sprout from the ground around your elderberry plant using pruning shears. These shoots can take away nutrients and water from the main plant, which may affect its overall health.


Pruning elderberries is an essential part of their care that promotes healthy growth and maximizes fruit production. By following these techniques, you can keep your elderberry plants in top condition year after year while enhancing their aesthetic appeal. Remember to use sharp tools for precise cuts, prune during late winter or early spring when dormant, and always wear protective gloves to avoid injuring yourself.