I am a garlic farmer and we are trying to expand into elderberries. We have wild Canadian Elderberries (S. canadensis) here which will very easily root if a cutting is stuck into moist soil.
I figured that that technique would work on named cultivars, as well, but so far not much luck.
We have a large York elderberry bush, that I took about 150 dormant hardwood cuttings from 6 weeks ago and planted them in the soil, with at least one node below the surface and one node above. They have all leafed out, though all are faring poorly except one. That one, I checked and has roots, however the ones of the others that I checked have no roots. The ground is moist, but not overly so.
I did this as well with the best wild selection of S. canadensis, and all are faring nicely except one which hasn't put out any growth but doesn't appear dead yet.
What I'm wondering, is if there is a trick to this. People propagated elderberries for thousands of years prior to rooting hormone, though is rooting hormone standard use for elderberries now? If so, what type and strength?
I figure that York must be easy to propagate, since it is one of the more common cultivars in the trade, so help would be appreciated.