Elderberry Tree infestation

May 29, 2022
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United Kingdom

I am new here and not an experienced gardener. For the first time in my life managed to get a small garden with a flat.

I have an Elderberry Tree which is as tall as the house. However it is smothered in black fly and black aphids. I cut off some of the bottom dead and messy branches but cannot reach up any further.

Having googled, I can see value in keeping tree for wildlife but this one does not look as bushy and vibrant as others in parks etc, so assume the sap sucking is responsible.

I cannot get up to spray hoses, plus due to neighbours and public path. I was thinking of catching a bunch of ladybirds at a country park up road and releasing on tree, would this work?

I have attached pictures. If it looks past help I may have to have it cut down by council, when they do my garden initially. Any advice would be appreciated thank you.

Jimmy, London suburbs


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Feb 13, 2021
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United Kingdom
They are very, very prone to blackfly. That is quite tree like, they are usually more of a bush. My feeling is that cut down it would probably sprout from the stump, but I don't actually know. If it does go you will not be able to replace it, they put a hormone into the soil that stops other elderberry bushes growing on the same spot, and it will remain active for several years. On the other hand birds eat the berries and spread seed everywhere, now you know what they look like you will probably start noticing them all over the place.
One of my childhood memories is of the smell from stripping new, straight shoots of them, they made good arrows when they dried out a bit :)

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