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York Elderberry

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  • Partial Shade to Full Sun (At Least 3 Hours Of Direct Sunlight)
  • Mature Height 8 - 10 Feet
  • Mature Spread 8 - 10 Feet
  • Growing Zones 4 - 8

Any tall shrub can fill the landscape, but York Elderberry (Sambucus canadensis ‘York’) also can fill your stomach. The shrub produces heavy crops of large berry clusters that pack plenty of vitamin C. Grow this large shrub for its pretty appearance, easy care, and to make jams, jellies, or maybe wine. As much as you will love the berries, wildlife will love them even more, so if you aren’t into harvesting the berries to can, just leave them on the shrub for birds. 

Cold hardy to zone 4, this versatile edible also handles the moderate heat of zone 8. The plant reaches nearly 10 feet high and 8 feet wide, and its berries begin to appear after 2 to 3 years of growth. They are known as the largest of any elderberry variety. The berries have a sweet taste and soft texture. And the shrub loves sun but still should produce and ripen even if grown in partial shade.

York Elderberry Care

Choose a spot with soil that drains well and that gets at least 4 hours of sun a day (the more the better). York Elderberry prefers slightly acidic soil pH (5.5 to 6.5). Because the elderberry requires another American elderberry for cross-pollination (a must for fruiting), choose another elderberry to plant within 100 feet (try Nova, Adams, Johns, or Bob Gordon varieties). When planting your elderberry, place it a couple of inches deeper than its depth in the pot it comes in.

Water your elderberry often in the first year so that its shallow roots can grow. Avoid fertilizers the first year, then add a high-nitrogen fertilizer per package directions every spring. Also avoid heavy pruning on young plants, waiting until after two seasons of growth. Then, prune the tree in early spring each subsequent year to remove dead or weak branches. Remove older canes so more energy goes to new growth, which produces more fruit.

York Elderberry Spacing

For an edible border, plant your elderberries about 6 to 8 feet apart to give them room to grow and room for you to reach the fruit at harvest time. Be sure to plant them within 100 feet of another elderberry for adequate pollination.

York Elderberry Information

USDA Hardiness Zones: 4 - 8
Plant Type: Bushes
Light Exposure: Partial Shade to Full Sun (At Least 3 Hours Of Direct Sunlight)
Mature Height: 8 - 10 Feet
Mature Spread: 8 - 10 Feet
Spacing: 8 - 10 Feet
Habit: Upright
Flower Color(s): White
Flower Description:
Bloom Period:
Foliage Type: Deciduous
Foliage Color(s): Green
Foliage Description:
Seasonal Interest: Summer Flowering
Watering: Average
Resists: Deer
Tolerates: Heat, Drought
Attracts: Birds, Butterflies
Container Role:
Uses: Wildlife Gardens
Features: Attracts Pollinators
Common Name: York Elderberry
Other Name(s):

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Plant Addict Guarantee (Included On All Plant Orders)

Plant Addicts guarantees your plant(s) will arrive happy and healthy, but the plant(s) are being shipped through the mail and accidents happen. If the plant is dead, has dried out roots or the incorrect item was shipped just notify Plant Addicts within 3 days upon delivery. We may ask for pictures but will try to make it as easy as possible for you. Please note plant(s) with damaged branches or wilted leaves will not qualify for this guarantee. Plants are very resilient and will rebound quickly when cared for correctly.

For information on how to care for you new plant please check out our guide. Guide: How to Care for Your New Plant(s)

Plant Addicts Warranty - 1 Year (Extra Purchase Required)

We encourage all plant lovers to purchase the Plant Addicts Warranty whether you’re new or an expert. There are many variables outside our control and yours that can cause the demise of your plant(s). Examples would be hungry animals, drought, poor soil conditions, over watering, disease, insects & many other factors. The Plant Addicts Warranty is a 1 year warranty protecting you from all the unknowns and will replace your plant if it moves on to the plant afterlife.

The warranty is purchased on a per plant basis and must be purchased at the same time as the plant purchase. We will cover 100% of the price of the plant but the warranty does not cover shipping cost. Simply let us know if your plant has died within one year of receiving it and we’ll get you a new one shipped out. We may ask for photos for documentation purposes but again we’ll try to make it as easy as possible.

For more information, please go to our Shipping & Returns page at the bottom of the website.

Guide: How to Care for Your New Plant(s)

Planter Shipping

Standard Colors: 2-3 business days

Special Order Colors: 8 weeks - this is due to the planter being custom made with the color(s) of your choice

Please Note: On special orders there can not be any cancellations

Plant Shipping

Time of Order:

Summer Shipping

  • If there is extreme heat we’ll delay shipping.  
    • We’ll have to review what areas the plants are traveling through along with your location

Once your plant is shipped you’ll receive an email with tracking information. Depending on the above criteria we’ll ship your plant(s) towards beginning of the following week from your order. We put together this helpful guide of what to do when you receive your plants in the mail.

It is important to know that all of our plants are clearly labeled for which growing zones the plant can survive in. The plants are thoroughly trialed and tested in every growing zone before we state the plant can grow in a zone. Again, our #1 priority is to ship the plants to you healthy and ready to thrive in your location. So we will do everything in our power to do so.