7 top elderberry tree varieties to grow in your backyard
Elderberries have gained popularity as a wellness supplement that is rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. The purple berries have compounds that mitigate symptoms of viral infections, flu, and cold. It is relatively easy to grow a variety of elderberry tree varieties in your own backyard.
The plants require some care in the first year but grow fast and reach fruition at 2-3 years. They can live up to sixty years with very little maintenance. You can use a starter or graft your plant with a leafy branch from an elderberry tree. Simply plant the branch into the ground where there is proper drainage and see your elderberry grow. Here are a few hardy varieties that you can grow in your garden in a shady spot this spring!
Why Grow An Elderberry Tree
Practically the whole elderberry tree can be of use. As mentioned earlier, the berries are used as a fruit and for medicinal use. You can make pies, jams, jellies, wine, preserves, and syrups. You may also turn the deep purple berries into a dye. The berries are used to treat a spectrum of diseases and boost immunity.
The leaves are not prescribed for ingestion but can be used to make highly effective salves and ointments to relieve pain and inflammation. You can also rub them on the skin as natural insect repellents. The elderberry leaves are excellent antifungal and insecticidal agents when steeped in boiling water and can be used to spray other plants in your garden. The trees themselves are not susceptible to fungal or insect infestations.
You can use the wood from the tree for carving and woodworking, while branches are good agents to make blowpipes and flutes. The trees attract a host of birds and butterflies and can create Eden in your backyard!
Pests and Deer generally stay away from elderberries, making them easy to maintain and secure. They require little in terms of fertilizer and can start producing fruit within a couple of years. The trees are more or less self-fertile and are amenable to self-pollination if planted within sixty feet of one another.
Your compost pile is happy when you add leaves and branches from the elderberry tree as it aids decomposition and speeds up fermentation.
The 7 Best Varieties Of The Elderberry Tree You Can Grow
- Black Elderberry or the Sambucus nigra is also called the European Elderberry. It is found across Asia and North America. It has many medicinal properties and can be grown successfully at home.
- The American Elderberry or the Sambucus Canadensis is native to North America’s eastern parts. It is a popular variety amongst home gardeners as the fruit yield is robust, and the plant is relatively maintenance-free. It is quite similar to the black elderberry variety. It is also known as the Adams variety of elderberry trees. It is a full bush and can reach a height of about ten feet.
- The Black Beauty variety has a unique lemony scent and is very popular in baked goods preparations. These elderberry plants like a moist climate and grows up to six feet in height.
- The Black Lace variety of the elderberry tree grows in moist conditions and looks beautiful. You will love its pink blooms that attract many bees and butterflies to your garden.
- The York elderberry variety is perhaps the most popular variety for home gardens. The tree has a high fruit yield and is sturdy and resilient.
- The European Red species of the elderberry gives a stunning look to your garden as they reach 20 feet in height. The bright red berries are a Lepidopterologist’s dream as they attract beautiful butterflies in droves. The berries are not edible.
- The Lemon Lace elderberry tree also yields red berries. The berries are not fit for human consumption, but the trees are hardy and resilient and can be a good option for dense foliage as a natural windbreak. These trees grow well in cold and even harsh conditions in North America.
Although the elderberry tree is popular due to its medicinal fruit, it is also grown to propagate a healthy ecosystem. The hardy trees can create natural foliage that is home to a variety of birds and butterflies. The berries can help your family keep healthy and boost immunity. They are nearly maintenance-free and can grow with little or no care after a little care in the first year. Elderberry trees can make your driveway or backyard look beautiful when they are in bloom.