Sambucus racemosa(Sutherland gold elder

wash(z4canada)June 10, 2012

I planted this in May of 2006 and it grew well until last year.

The new leaves begin as pale greenish yellow and then turn a vibrant yellow. After a few weeks they beging to wither and turn brown denuding the whole branch.

I pruned the old growth and this spring new growth was really great, and then suddenly the leaves are turning brown again.

Has anyone experienced this and if so is there a solution to this.

Thanks Wash

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weeper_11(2b SK)

To me this sounds like verticillium wilt. This is a bad one! And unfortunately elder's are suceptible to it. It effects the vascular system of the tree and prevents it from taking up nutrients. It is soil-borne and lives in the soil for years, but there are quite a few plants that are resistant to it/somewhat immune. Some plants may have it and not show symptoms.

As far as what to do about it - if the shrub essentially "dies" every year and looks poor, you may just want to remove it. If pruning out all the dead stuff, watering well and fertilizing can revive it, you could do that. If it is VW, it is already in the soil, so removing the tree immediately won't save it from "spreading" or anything. Do destroy any wood you prune out of it though(burn, etc.)

If you do remove it, and want to replant something there, you could fumigate the soil where the elder was. I'm not sure that you could really do a complete enough job to get rid of it though, so it is probably best to just plant a resistant shrub. I attached a link with more info about VW, it also has a list of resistant plants.

Anyway, don't panic..it may not be VW. It'll have to be identified first before you take action.

Here is a link that might be useful: Verticillium Wilt

    Bookmark   June 11, 2012 at 8:58AM
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