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Someone please tell me I can take Elderberry cuttings in the summer...??

 
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Hello!

Long story short, I am going to be on the other coast (with my house) this summer, and am cleaning it up to sell in July. I wont be able to make it to the house until then.
I have two very beautiful 1 year old elderberry bushes that I would like to take cuttings from...and I know i'm supposed to do this when the plant is dormant in the winter. Does anyone know or have experience with taking cuttings from the plants in the summer? What would the issues be that I might encounter if I do this? Has anyone tried this before and do you have any advice to proceed? :)
Its really my only time to take the cuttings, and since I'm selling the house, I wont be able to take any cuttings this winter. I would really like to take these specific cuttings because I know the plants are healthy and thriving, and they are my first elderberries ive planted, and I also like the idea of keeping a piece of these plants with me because frankly I'm sentimental about them.

Thanks for your help and advice!

Cheers
M
 
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Hi Michelle,

How long before you have to part ways with the elderberries? My guess is that while propagating by cutting may be tough right now, you could have success trying air layering. I fear I haven't personally air layered elderberry, but given the season, I'm thinking this could be a safe bet.
 
Michelle Arbol
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Arkady Schneider wrote:Hi Michelle,

How long before you have to part ways with the elderberries? My guess is that while propagating by cutting may be tough right now, you could have success trying air layering. I fear I haven't personally air layered elderberry, but given the season, I'm thinking this could be a safe bet.



Ok, thank you for the advise, ill look into that method. I have until August, September at latest to get cuttings before the house is sold.
 
pollinator
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Elderberries root very easily I think you'll be fine just bunging some sticks in the ground whatever the time of year, make sure they do not have too many leaves and that they are kept shaded and damp. If you didn't pick ALL the berries have a look around the bushes there may well be some babies.
 
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Disclaimer: I have not done this yet. It’s on my list for the upcoming season.

According to John Moody in his The Elderberry Book

I paraphrase: Choose new young softwood branches that are just turning from green to brown, cutting the branch into 5-to-6-inch pieces. Remove all but the two topmost leaves from each segment. At this point, you can root them in water or soil. The plants take about 12 or more weeks to develop sufficient roots.

Will you be traveling by car or plane? This may change how to handle the cuttings. If by car, I’d put them in pots, multiple cuttings per pot, keeping the soil very moist, out of direct sunlight. If by plane, I’d put them in a Ziploc bag, the ends without leaves wrapped in a very moist kitchen-sized towel. I’d pack it in my carry on and avoid crushing them.

Also, if the leaves are large, I’d cut most of each leaf off. Akiva of Twisted Tree Farm has an Article about propagating mulberry trees. I think his point about cutting the leaves would be applicable to your situation with elderberries too.



When you get them home, keep them out of direct sunlight until well-rooted. Setting up a misting system would be ideal, but keeping them in a self-watering system may also work. I’d be tempted to move them to a bucket of water in the house, guaranteeing them attention until rooted.

Another option, would be to dig up a few new root suckers from the base of the plants. I have had success with transplanting young plants propagated by the birds. Theese may not be true to your desired variety though.
 
Michelle Arbol
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Joylynn Hardesty wrote:Disclaimer: I have not done this yet. It’s on my list for the upcoming season.

According to John Moody in his The Elderberry Book

I paraphrase: Choose new young softwood branches that are just turning from green to brown, cutting the branch into 5-to-6-inch pieces. Remove all but the two topmost leaves from each segment. At this point, you can root them in water or soil. The plants take about 12 or more weeks to develop sufficient roots.

Will you be traveling by car or plane? This may change how to handle the cuttings. If by car, I’d put them in pots, multiple cuttings per pot, keeping the soil very moist, out of direct sunlight. If by plane, I’d put them in a Ziploc bag, the ends without leaves wrapped in a very moist kitchen-sized towel. I’d pack it in my carry on and avoid crushing them.

Also, if the leaves are large, I’d cut most of each leaf off. Akiva of Twisted Tree Farm has an Article about propagating mulberry trees. I think his point about cutting the leaves would be applicable to your situation with elderberries too.



When you get them home, keep them out of direct sunlight until well-rooted. Setting up a misting system would be ideal, but keeping them in a self-watering system may also work. I’d be tempted to move them to a bucket of water in the house, guaranteeing them attention until rooted.

Another option, would be to dig up a few new root suckers from the base of the plants. I have had success with transplanting young plants propagated by the birds. Theese may not be true to your desired variety though.




thank you so much! Yes, I'll be traveling up from Florida in a car, so I can do that :)
Cheers!
 
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Since they spread by their roots pry some away from the mother. I’ve did it as late as June here in zone 7b. Just pot them up and leave them in the shade for a week and plant. I’m not bragging when I tell you I’ve never lost one done like this. The ones I’m transplanting now will give me fruit next summer. Last June I dug up the last couple that I felt comfortable doing. I potted them up and gave them to a friend at work. She left them in the shade a total of two day’s before planting them out in ninety degree weather. They did very well much to my surprise!
My next venture will be to attempt to graft pollinators together on the same plant.
 
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Skandi Rogers wrote:Elderberries root very easily I think you'll be fine just bunging some sticks in the ground whatever the time of year, make sure they do not have too many leaves and that they are kept shaded and damp.



This has been my experience as well.  I beat the powerline herbacide crew to some roadside elderberries a few years ago, cut six inch cuttings from near the top of the plants, stuck them in dirt, and they rooted just fine.  Sadly I killed them by failing to repot or plant them out the next summer, and they died of thirst in their too-small pots.  But that's just me being a terrible gardener.  
 
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Which coast are they on? East or west?


I second air layering.  It might work,  though it'd be challenging in the dry summers we experience here
 
pollinator
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We were trimming back some elderberry in July or August to make room for something else and I stuck the trimmings into a garden bed, mostly as a joke, but they rooted no problem! No rooting hormone, no trimming leaves, just good moist soil.  Cut as many as you can, use a couple different methods, and some are sure to take.
 
Michelle Arbol
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R Scott wrote:We were trimming back some elderberry in July or August to make room for something else and I stuck the trimmings into a garden bed, mostly as a joke, but they rooted no problem! No rooting hormone, no trimming leaves, just good moist soil.  Cut as many as you can, use a couple different methods, and some are sure to take.


Ahh, perfect, and good to know! I guess ive lucked out that these are such prolific plants ;) Wonderful news
 
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Do you know what variety of elder berry? I’m in the process of air layering blue elder here in California.
 
Scott Stiller
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Hi Chris. Because I have so many elderberries I’ve tried several ways to propagate. Air layering works fine but takes months. If you take a chunk of root runner you could be planting out a new tree in less than three weeks. Hope this helps.
 
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