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York Elderberry

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Description

Bring edible beauty to your landscape. In spring, these plants feature lovely white blooms, and in summer, they produce a bounty of soft, dark purple berries that are good for cooking or making delicious jams, jellies and wines rich in vitamin C. Berries ripen later than counterpart: Nova. Easy-to-grow plants tolerate dry or moist soils once established. Fruit is not affected by growing in partial shade. Regular summer watering is necessary for consistent fruit quality. Shrubs also make great wildlife attractants. Cold hardy. Ripens in August. Best pollinator: any other elderberry variety.

Characteristics

Bloom Color White
Fruit Color Purple
Fruit Size Medium - Large
Ripens/Harvest Mid-late August
Shade/Sun Partial Shade - Full Sun
Soil Composition Loamy, Sandy
Soil Moisture Well Drained - Average Moistness
Soil pH Level 5.5 - 6.5
Taste Sweet
Texture Soft
Years to Bear 2 - 3
Zone Range 4 - 8

Zone Compatibility

This Variety's Zone Range 4 - 8
My Hardiness Zone ?
The USDA hardiness zones offer a guide to varieties that will grow well in certain climates. Each zone corresponds to the minimum winter temperatures experienced in a given area. Make sure that your hardiness zone lies within the zone compatability range of this variety before ordering.

Size & Spacing

Mature Size

When your plant matures, it will be approximately 6 - 10' tall x 6 - 8' wide.

Recommended Spacing

We recommend spacing these plants 6 - 8' apart to ensure room for growth.

Pollination

This variety requires another one for adequate pollination.

Cross-pollination by a different variety is key to its growing and bearing success. Plant one of these varieties within 50' for best pollination.

Tools & Supplies

Having the proper tools and supplies when growing your own can make the difference between a good harvest and a great harvest! Here's a list that our experts recommend for this variety.

Planting & Care

Learn all about how to grow elderberry plants in The Growing Guide. An entire section of our website dedicated to your growing success.

Shipping Information

Estimated Delivery Date

Arrives when it's time to plant

Your success is our priority. We work hard to make sure that your order arrives at the ideal time for planting in your location based on your local climate conditions.

Our Promise of Satisfaction

1 Year Warranty

Every order comes with our promise of satisfaction. If you aren't completely satisfied with your order, let us know within one year for a free one-time replacement or refund.

Questions & Answers

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Browse 17 questions Browse 17 questions and 81 answers
Why did you choose this?
Stark Bro's Store
To pollinate two Ranch elderberry bushes
Mike H on Aug 10, 2020
other choices were not available
Burton S on Aug 9, 2020
To pollinate two Ranch elderberry bushes
Mike H on Aug 10, 2020
Easy to grow & tolerant of a wide variety of weather.
Noelle B on Aug 9, 2020
other choices were not available
Burton S on Aug 9, 2020
Needed a new pollinator.
Gene C on Aug 1, 2020
Native
William F on Jul 30, 2020
to pair with Nova Elderberry plants for better polination
Olessia S on Jul 28, 2020
Spend a ton of money on elderberry products. Not anymore.
Dana R on May 19, 2020
To make juice
dorina k on May 18, 2020
I purchased this because I have read that elderberries are excellent to build up the immune system.
SYRREA P on May 13, 2020
I buy elderberries to make my Elderberry syrup every year. And decided to raise my own
Rebecca M on May 12, 2020
My grandmother used to make elderberry jelly and I really want to recreate it.
Gayle U on May 8, 2020
To make Elderberry Juice.
Rosemarie T M on May 8, 2020
medical uses
Anita M on May 6, 2020
one I don't have
PEGGY B on May 5, 2020
large quantity of fruit
kathleen j on May 4, 2020
Low cost / need a cross pollinator
Elizabeth M on May 4, 2020
I wanted a cross pollinator for the Nova but the York was out of stock at the time. I have already planted the Nova, about two weeks ago. So far I haven't seen any leaves on the stalk yet but it's still early.
Charlotte R on Apr 30, 2020
For the birds in winter
Susan V on Apr 28, 2020
available
David R on Mar 30, 2020
Always wanted them love to make jelly
Edward K on Mar 23, 2020
We really want the elderberries for medicinal needs, many speculate that elderberry is just as good. If not, better then shelf sold cold medicines. Also, to make some yummy wine!
Tommy T on Mar 23, 2020
From what I've read elderberry has a high yield count for berries and a good choice for my location. (West Michigan)
Rebecca L on Mar 22, 2020
climate
todd w on Mar 21, 2020
Fits my area, plus already have one Nova and one York - both doing great
PHIL B on Mar 18, 2020
My research showed that York is a great producer of large berries and pairs well with Nova, which I also purchased. This variety is also supposed to do well in my zone (7a). We shall see!
Laura Z on Jan 29, 2020
Herbs used for Lyme and Corona Virus
Christina C on Jan 27, 2020
Elderberry diversity
Amy J on Jan 20, 2020
Since elderberries have to cross pollinate, this is a recommended variety. Reviews of its success added to my decision.,
C M on Jan 12, 2020
I tried 2 Adams and 2 Johns elderberries in this spring. They did so well, actually produced some berries in the first year, I thought I would try a couple of different varieties to see which I liked best. My first elderberries, never raised before.
Jeff B on Aug 23, 2019
I chose this to grow alongside the Johns elderberry plant.
Karen D on Aug 11, 2019
recommended in a gardening article.
Rita F on Jul 26, 2019
I want to have an elderberry bush but space is limited so I chose this one because it only reaches 6 X 6ft
Laurette L on Jun 4, 2019
Love Elderberry fritters and to make syrup & jam

Need both kinds for pollination.
Alexandra S on May 30, 2019
Daughter recommended
M S on May 29, 2019
It was a recommended variety by the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service.
BRADLEY S on May 27, 2019
Proper pollination for Nova elderberry
TED Z on May 24, 2019
This bush has great health benefits, berries make delicious medicinal jam for family and for gifting, and I have perfect growing location - lower side of a sandy hill as it adjoins a swampy area on the edge of woods. Wild elderberry bushes grow on sides of ditches around Hemlock Michigan so I???m hoping for success at growing 3 bushes on my property (Johns, Nova, and York). Plan to dig holes, put composted cow manure in bottom, fill with dirt/humus, top with wood chips. Can???t wait for berries!
Catherine A on May 17, 2019
I already have 2 Elderberry plants that are likely Nova, and I needed to add a different type for pollination.
Camilla K on Apr 1, 2019
I grew up with these trees as a kid and want them now in my home.
ladybirdgem on Mar 25, 2019
trying a different elderberry and so i thought i would try this one
Alice W on Mar 15, 2019
recommended for my area
CLAUDIA S on Feb 20, 2019
My daughter is slowly creating a fruit and berry farm in NE Oklahoma.
Cathey B on Feb 20, 2019
this cultivar seemed the best to fit my needs
Michelle D on Feb 6, 2019
This is going to be a companion plant for the Nova Elderberry I just purchased. We'll see...
Yonge S on Feb 3, 2019
We purchased two of these plants a few years ago and they've done well in our Colorado climate and are easy to prune and manage in our small yard. The blossoms have a beautiful smell, we harvest the berries, and like the look of these plants. As advertised, they do grow fast, and need to be staked but are worth the effort.
Susan T on Jan 12, 2019
They do well in partial shade
Donna H on Sep 6, 2018
It pairs well with the Nova and the growing conditions suit my zone.
DAVID H. on May 3, 2018
Obtaining a third elderberry variety --- experiment.
James H on Feb 26, 2017
Smaller size.
Susan A on Sep 30, 2016
Easy to grow & tolerant of a wide variety of weather.
Noelle B on Aug 9, 2020
Needed a new pollinator.
Gene C on Aug 1, 2020
Is this Sambucus Nigra? If this not, do you have plant for sale?
Al P on Sep 2, 2016
BEST ANSWER: Thank you for your question. Sambucus nigra are European elderberries; 'York' is a Sambucus canadensis, an American elderberry.
Can Nova and York elderberries be consumed raw or should they be cooked first? There is a lot of conflicting information on the web (go figure) so I am unsure on how best to process these berries. Thanks.
mattj on Mar 14, 2017
BEST ANSWER: The Sambucus canadensis elderberries should be fully ripe before consuming, but they can be consumed raw. You may find that the berries are more tasty when cooked (especially if you're planning to make jelly or elderberry syrup). You can also eat the flowers if you don't mind foregoing some berries in the process. They're great when battered and fried like fritters!
I have read that Red Elderberry plants are reasonably deer resistant. Do you know if the varieties you sell are similarly deer resistant?
Krista E on Feb 24, 2016
BEST ANSWER: Planted 6 plants last may and all have survived quite nicely. The plants seem relatively easy to establish and have shown solid growth for one year. While we have a healthy deer population, they have not impacted the plants to date. If in doubt, I recommend fencing the plants until they are established. Better safe than sorry. RH
Can you grow the elderberry plant in a container?
Cindy A on May 2, 2020
BEST ANSWER: There???s no reason you can???t. They are quite hardy though and do well here in Maine in the ground. If you do grow in a container it will need to be large as the plants can get really big. You will need to protect the roots in the winter if you live in a cold area as you will be allowing frost to penetrate from all sides.
is this Sambucus canadensis?
nancy t on Jun 5, 2018
BEST ANSWER: Thank you for your question. Sambucus nigra are European elderberries; 'York' is a Sambucus canadensis, an American elderberry.
Thinking of planting these along side my chicken pen. Do I need to worry about poisoning my birds?
Aaron H on Feb 26, 2018
BEST ANSWER: While I have never directly fed my chickens elderberries, I do have to fight the wild birds for the berries when they ripen, so my guess is elderberries are safe for chickens. Maybe check with a vet?
We have york and nova elderberries - three years old now. I heard a talk by an elderberry grower who stated that he cuts the canes down to the ground in winter. Is this advisable?
Gary G on Nov 16, 2017
BEST ANSWER: It seems not to hurt the plant, and does keep it shorter. May also reduce its tendency to send out runners. But if you want the plant for wildlife value or maximum berry production, as I do, I'd leave it tall.
Are your elderberries sold in form of plants, roots, or both? Thank you.
Magda O on Mar 12, 2020
BEST ANSWER: My Elderberries came as bare roots. I live in central New York and I find that bare roots work great when planting in the early Spring, as we can get frost into late May.
Can York be used to cross pollinate Laced Up?
Maureen C on May 15, 2020
BEST ANSWER: We appreciate you reaching out to us. I do not believe so as the Laced up variety from reading is an early summer bloomer where the York is a late season bloomer.

If you have any further questions please don't hesitate to reach back out to us. Have a great day!
can i buy 2 of the same elderberry plant to cross pollinate?
SYRREA P on May 8, 2020
BEST ANSWER: The same variety cannot pollinate itself. You will need another elderberry variety with a similar bloom time in order for good pollination to occur.
I put 2 York elderberry bushes in my cart. When I checked out, they were on my list. When I printed my receipt, they disappeared! Why? I wanted 3 different kinds with a total of 4 plants. Now I only get 2 plants!?
Mary Z on Apr 28, 2020
BEST ANSWER: This is a Q&A forum for product questions: I'm sorry, but we don't have access to orders and customer information here. If you would kindly call Customer Support at 800.325.4180, email info@starkbros.com or visit starkbros.com and start a chat, they will be able to address your issue.
If I have wild red elderberries will they serve as a pollinator for the black elderberries?
Lisa B on Apr 21, 2020
BEST ANSWER: Yes, they will pollinate with native species
What is the country of origin of this elderberry plant?
Lucretia Y on Aug 24, 2019
BEST ANSWER: It is native to a large area of North America east of the Rocky Mountains, through eastern Mexico and Central America to Panama.
Can Sambucus canadensis be shipped to California?
Christa J on Sep 2, 2016
BEST ANSWER: Thank you for your question. There are currently no specific exclusions on elderberry plants in CA.
are Elderberry plants shipped in pots or barefoot?
Krista E on Feb 24, 2016
BEST ANSWER: They are currently available either way. You can see the available options in the drop down box near the top of the page.

Customer Reviews

4.8 / 5.0
23 Reviews
5 Stars
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wonderful smaller elderberry bush
bough a york and nova because they said they were well paired and smaller than the average elderberry bush. i wanted to grow these for medicinal purposes in a small city yard. I planted both last year in late august, i live in inner city grand rapids michigan (zone 5). the literature said it might be 2-3 years from planting to see fruit, i'm pleased to announce i got flowers and now berries on both less than one year later. The York is HUGE, four giant clusters of flowers/fruit. The Nova is still quite a bit smaller, half the size of the York but managed to produce one cluster of flowers/berries. Very happy with this purchase and the manner in which they were shipped. Would highly recommend Stark Brothers!
August 28, 2016
Purchased
over 5 years ago
Beautiful tall first year bushes from bare root plants!
I planted little bare root sticks last fall, hoping they would survive our increasingly confusing weather. We had such a long cold spell I worried about all of my plants in December and January. February through May brought an early wet spring, with lots of heavy snows. To my delight, my elderberries are four feet tall at the end of August. Looking forward to fruit next year.
August 23, 2016
Purchased
over 5 years ago
Fantastic grower
I purchased this late last spring and it is by far the most vigorous growing plant I ever had. It arrinve maybe 3 inches tall and has grown 3 feet so far. It was the first to bud this year, even before my apples and is simply flourishing. I have no doubt I will be getting quite a few berries this year and there is just so much you can do with these. Up in Ohio we had a long brutal winter, long too, and it did not even phase this elderberry. It is a trooper. I would love to purchase more if I had the space.
April 20, 2018
Purchased
over 3 years ago
Elderberry
All of the elderberry plants I ordered are doing great. This is their first year, so is hard to know what they will continue to do but they are about to burst into bloom now. thanks I am very happy with them.
May 12, 2016
Purchased
over 5 years ago
York Elderberry thriving
Our York elderberry has been planted in a natural setting at the edge of a woods where wild elderberries thrive. It is doing very well, surviving and also thriving there.
May 2, 2017
Purchased
over 6 years ago
Great growth and fruit production in the first year!
Bought a York and Nova to pair together, planted them late April, and they already have a couple small clusters that are nearly ready to pick mid September! They're growing really well even though one of them got partially split by some neighbor kids running over it. So excited to see how well they do after being fully established next year!
September 15, 2019
Tough Plant
I got one of these last year and it almost died during the Texas heat in August, when I was out of town for a prolonged period of time and the plant was forgotten during the watering. It has come back with a vengeance and this year it even has flowers blossoming on it.
May 9, 2019
Purchased
over 2 years ago
Looking good!
This was part of a collection. it and the other elderberry are doing great, taller than me, doing their thing. No berries yet but it has only been since last fall. It seems like the deer don't care for them, although i have limited their access.
June 20, 2018
Purchased
over 3 years ago
Happy in the shade
I planted three of these under a Cedar Elm. I think they get too much shade but they are staying alive and even coming up as new plants from under ground shoots a foot or so from the main plant. They don't get any attention but are holding on really well, especially for our hot summers.
May 17, 2016
Purchased
over 5 years ago
great looking plant
first year had tons of leaves and looked very healthy. On year two now, still early in the season, but it handled the Alaska winter like a champ.
May 11, 2018
Purchased
over 3 years ago