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My brother has an acreage near Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. It was a horse pasture in the recent past, but now is just sitting, growing whatever grows. Grass and wild flowers and weeds and such.

There are a number of elderberry bushes growing. I think they have grown from birds pooping out seeds from some plant on somebody's nearby farm. Right now most of them are just single stems, usually about 1 meter tall or less. They may get one tiny little clump of berries.

I want to collect them into a grove in one location. What advice is there on transplanting elderberries?

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Let's first assume that you don't care what type of elderberry they are, you just want to move them. Elders in the Sambucus family grow like weeds from hardwood cuttings in the right location. So rather than moving the existing plants, just take a bunch of 6" cuttings from them, put them in good moist soil up to the neck and they will quickly grow roots so you can then move the small cuttings where you need them in the destination location.

Once they are established you can do what you like with the old patch, persistently mow it down until they give up or plow under several times.

One meter tall is very low for elderberry and you may find they are on unsuitable ground such as fast draining sandy soil. Elders need moisture to do well.

Please be aware that there are several types of elder growing wild in Ontario, quite a lot of it being the red elderberry which is quite unsuitable as food for people. If you are intending to grow for consumption, check out the numerous resources available to distinguish the species suitable for your purpose.

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  • I think they are only 1 meter tall because they are very young. Possibly only one year old, two at the most. Though they are growing taller in the wetter part of the field. Maybe I should just stop being cheap and buy some proper plants of a nice-to-eat variety. Thanks for the info!
    – Boba Fit
    Feb 3, 2023 at 19:11

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