I live in central Kansas and we’ve had a very weird and unusually warm winter. I have a 100’ row of American elderberry (Sambucus canadensis) that I planted 5 years ago this spring. These plants have not been pruned, other than the occasional removal of dead material, since they were planted.
The plan was to go out today and mulch the row with wood chips, then prune everything down to close to ground level. The intention is to refresh the plants and encourage larger cymes and a tighter ripening window. I was going to pot up the healthiest cuttings for propagation.
The problem I’m running into is that I am seeing signs of dormancy break on some plants. We will see lows around 0F next week so none of this growth will survive.
Should I move forward with my plan or skip cutting back the plants breaking dormancy now?
I am hoping someone here has experience with American elderberry and can point me in the right direction. Thanks!