Sigh. You’d think I’d learn.
Once my Black Lace Elderberry (technically sambucus nigra ‘Eva’) began wilting 4 seasons ago and I learned it had borers (more in a second), I knew I had to cut it back. But did I? Not so much. I did a nice little trimming this year, thinking that surely 3 feet of snow would have taken care of the problem. Silly me.
This is the result.
What’s interesting this year is that I did not find any live borers as I did last year. But I did find this.
So they must have a two year cycle: borers one year that lay eggs, and then they hatch out the following year, still causing damage. There’s literally no winning.
Here is the post, with photos of the borers, from last year.
So what is the takeaway from all of this?
Every year, this lovely native shrub will need to be pruned back hard in order to avoid borer damage.
Incidentally, that’s why I permit it to stay–because it is a native with food for the birds. Otherwise, as lovely as it is, it would be gone!
I too had the problem of the wilting of the Black Lace Elderberry. I pinched off the wilting parts and now the shrub seems to be doing better–I even see some blossoms about to open. It is such a beautiful plant.
Thanks for reading. Sadly, this seems to be a very common problem. If I haven’t been clever enough to hack the plant back in the early spring (thus avoiding the problem) I do exactly as you do–I just cut off the wilting parts. Not only does it improve the appearance but the overall health seems to improve as well, as you remark. Thanks for sharing that.