York Elderberry

As low as $69.29 was $109.99
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For a wonderful flowering and fruiting display in the landscape, the versatile York Elderberry, (Sambucus canadensis 'York') is hard to beat. Feed the birds, or cook the large, purplish-black berries down for your family. It grows into a beautiful, informal hedge that requires very little care.

York is an American native cultivar, unlike the European Elderberries (Sambucus nigra). York has been an important variety and staple medicine of Native American Indians, early explorers and settlers, now gracing today's modern landscapes!

Elderberries have been a highly regarded plant and food source. Include them in your edible landscape, or feed songbirds and butterflies in your garden. Pretty springtime flowers and early fall fruiting displays add wonderful visual interest to the landscape!

In early summer, York Elderberry will produce the most amazingly huge, broad clusters of lemon-scented, white flowers. Distinctively ornamental pinnate, finely serrated foliage adds to the decorative display.

The floral clusters cover the plant at regular intervals from the top to the bottom of the shrub. Overall, it's an outstanding appearance but look closer five tall yellow stamens extend well above each tiny, umbrella-shaped bloom! These bright stamens sparkle in the sunlight! Each of the pretty blooms will develop into a gorgeous, richly-colored berry.

Better yet, the flat-topped flowers attract and support a wide variety of beneficial insects like bees, butterflies, and more! The blooms not only provide pollen to native bees but nectar for hummingbirds and more!

Berries ripen best in full sun. You may achieve up to 30 pounds of fruit from a single plant once it's established and you've planted it with appropriate pollination partners! York Elderberry produces the largest fruit size and finest quality of any of the Elderberries.

York is self-fruitful but will set a significantly larger crop when planted with another Elderberry variety such as the Adams, Nova, Johns, Golden, or a native S. canadensis. York is also one of the best pollinators for all other S. canadensis varieties.

These deep, dark-colored berries are very special. Pick the entire cluster of fruit when fully ripe. You'll strip the berries to remove them from the bright stems. Cook them down to bring out the sweet flavor. You may not even need to add sugar!

York is recognized by the USDA Database for Flavonoid Content of Selected Foods as a super fruit because of its high concentration of vitamin C. Elderberries are high in Vitamin C and are used in many dishes including jams, preserves, pies, and syrups. It is also famous for making juice blends and the wonderful Elderberry Wine.

You've probably seen Sambucus at the drugstore sold as a cough and cold remedy. Try your hand at your own medicinal syrups and tinctures, carefully following published recipes from reputable sources. Even the flowers are medicinal edibles!

In the wild, York is typically found naturalized along streambeds, in moist woodland settings, in thickets, and along roadsides throughout the eastern part of North America throughout USDA planting zones 3 to 9. You'll be surprised to find out how versatile this native plant cultivar can be in modern landscapes as a large 10-12 foot tall shrub or small tree.

Planting and Application:

Use York Elderberry as a specimen shrub in a perennial garden in full sun and edible landscaping accents! Give it the space it needs to develop into its full height and width. The big airy and open shrubs will create a lovely informal free-form look all on their own.

A single plant planted at the corner of a shed or building easily softens the look and grounds the building to the landscape. You can limb-up and create a unique tree form! Try creating a drooping umbrella canopy or a narrow and more upright form. Plant your Elderberry tree on a berm where the lacy foliage and large flower clusters can shine!

York Elderberry is also a great shrub to use as a useful border planting and backdrop to your landscaping beds and victory gardens. It can grow into a lovely screen, shelterbelt or hedgerow. To create a solid screen, plant 5 feet apart on center. You'll measure from the center of one to the center of the next. You'll be so pleased to see how fast they fill in.

If you have a large landscape, try naturalizing them at the edge of a woodland, or surrounding a pond, for light privacy or bulk up a windbreak. You'll create a fantastic wildlife habitat and bird-friendly nesting while boosting pollination among all the shrubs. Use this native treasure to support local ecology and waterways and as a dual-purpose ornamental landscaping plant. You'll be rewarded with dancing butterflies and the motion and sound of happy songbirds. What a treat!

Add to a Rain Garden to help filter rainwater runoff from roofs and streets before it hits the storm sewer. Likewise just as drought-tolerant and xeric once established, Elderberry thrive in the Rock Garden! There are few conditions that these native cultivars won't be able to tough out, but a fertile garden setting will result in the most fruit, the biggest bloom display, and the most stress-free plants.

  • Fine-Cut Green Leaves Emerge in Early Spring
  • Creamy White Blooms in Early Summer Bring Butterflies
  • Glossy Purple Berries Make Tasty Jam or Wine
  • Foliage Looks Great in Cut Flower Arrangements
  • Train Into A Tree Form & Great in Containers
  • Wonderful for Mass Planting, Hedges, Specimens & Airy Presence

#ProPlantTips for Care:

For the most fruit and flowers, and the strongest growth possible, plant your Elderberry in full sun, but these hardy plants can handle a touch of partial shade. They grow best in well-drained soils that are high in organic matter. Mulch heavily in warmer, drier climates to ensure that the shallow roots are kept cool and moist. Give it regular water during its first year, then water during drought and excess heat. Fertilize in the spring and mid-summer with an acid fertilizer, such as Dr. Earth's Acid Lovers Premium and Organic Fertilizer.

York Elderberry is a cane-producing shrub a bit like Blackberries and Raspberries, and Elderberry flower on last year's wood. When used as an ornamental (not depending on flowers or fruit), cut the plant back to the desired shape after the plant leafs-out in spring. This delay will somewhat limit fruit production for that season. For that reason, it is recommended you instead renewal prune when dormant, removing 3-year-old canes back to the ground. Cut back all 2-year canes by half and remove all weak and dead canes.

  • Cold & Heat-Hardy
  • Grows in Full Sun or Partial Shade
  • Highly Adaptable to Any Well-Drained Soil Type
  • Thrives In Moist to Dry Conditions Once Established
  • Flowers On Old Wood - Prune After Flowering
  • Easy to Grow & Fast-Growing!

The York Elderberry will provide you with years of beauty and bounty and requires little care from you! Its hardy and adaptable nature, coupled with its lovely flowers and delicious fruit, make the York one of the most important of all the Elderberry varieties and a perfect plant for your landscape.

Order your potted or bareroot York Elderberry Bushes today from NatureHills.com!

Buying Options for Plants

Nature Hills sells a large variety of plants with several options available. Plants are offered in both potted containers and as dormant bare root without soil. Here is a helpful resource to understand your options as you create a beautiful landscape with help from Nature Hills.

Ever wonder what a larger plant will mean for your landscape? Container Sizes are really all about the age of the plant!

Seasonally, Nature Hills offers hand selected, high quality bare root trees, shrubs and perennials. Bare root plants are sold by height from the top of the root system to the top of the plant. Plants may be taller than the height minimums.

  • Popular sizes of select trees are 1 foot, 2 feet, 3 feet, etc.
  • Popular sizes of select bare root plants is 1 foot, 18 inches, etc.

Nature Hills Container Size by Volume

Keep in mind, specific varieties and different growing conditions can affect the rate at which plants grow. Variations in size may occur.

Young Plants to 18 Months
Size Volume
2"x2"x3" Ranges from .18 to .21 dry quarts / .198 to .23 dry liters in volume
4.5" Container Equal to .65 dry quart / .72 dry liter in volume
Sprinter Pot Equal to .63 dry quart / .69 dry liter in volume
4" Container Ranges from .31 to .87 / .35 to .96 dry liter in volume
6" Container Equal to 1.4 dry quarts / 1.59 dry liters in volume
1 Quart Equal to 1 dry quart / 1.1 dry liter in volume
5.5" Container Equal to 1.89 of a dry quart / 2.08 dry liters in volume
4"x4"x5" Ranges from .8 to 1.1 dry quarts / .88 to 1.2 dry liters in volume
4"x4"x6" Ranges from 1.0 to 1.3 dry quarts / 1.1 to 1.41 dry liters in volume
4"x4"x9" Ranges from 1.1 to 2.1 dry quarts / 1.2 to 2.3 dry liters in volume
4"x4"x10" Ranges from 1.7 to 2.3 dry quart / 1.87 to 2.53 dry liters in volume
Plants 18 Months - 2.5 Years Old
Size Volume
2 Quart Equal to 2 dry quarts / 2.2 dry liters in volume
#1 Container Ranges from 2.26 to 3.73 dry quarts / 2.49 to 4.11 dry liters in volume
5"x5"x12" Equal to 3.5 to 4.3 dry quarts / 3.85 to 4.74 dry liters in volume
Plants 2 - 4 Years Old
Size Volume
#2 Container Ranges from 1.19 to 1.76 dry gallons / 5.24 to 7.75 dry liters in volume
#3 Container Ranges from 2.32 to 2.76 dry gallons / 10.22 to 12.16 dry liters in volume
Plants 3 - 5 Years Old
Size Volume
#5 Container Ranges from 2.92 to 4.62 dry gallons / 12.86 to 20.35 dry liters in volume
#6 Container Ranges from 5.25 to 6.01 dry gallons / 23.12 to 26.42 dry liters in volume
#7 Container Ranges from 5.98 to 6.08 dry gallons / 26.34 to 26.78 dry liters in volume

About Plant Sentry™

Plant Sentry is designed to protect both consumers and the nursery trade from invasive plant pests and diseases. Sites that display the Plant Sentry protection badge are protected from consumers buying and nurseries shipping material carrying invasive pests and diseases.

This proprietary eCommerce software prevents the shipment of a restricted plant to each state. The Plant Sentry system includes a shipment certification program. The Plant Sentry Compliance Officer works closely with NatureHills.com and each nursery or fulfillment center to ensure only compliant plants are sold to customers.

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To obtain a more accurate shipment time-frame, simply enter your zip code in the “Find Your Growing Zone” box to the right. Our plants are grown all over the country and lead time on items may be different because of this. Once your order is placed, you will also receive the specific shipment time-frame information as part of your order confirmation. Once an item ships, you will receive shipment notification and tracking numbers, so you can follow along while your plant travels to your doorstep. We use FedEx, UPS, or USPS at our discretion.

Due to winter weather we have put a hold on shipping to the areas shown below in grey. You can still order now and we will ship the plant to you during an appropriate time for your zone.

*If you have found your zone already, it will be highlighted in the table below.
Color Zone Times
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Shipping Rates

At Nature Hills we handle, package and ship the products you order with the utmost care to ensure healthy delivery. Shipping and handling charges are calculated based on the tables below. Please note that some items include an additional handling surcharge, these will be noted on the item's product page.

From To S&H
0 - 19.99 24.99
20 - 49.99 29.99
50 - 69.99 34.99
70 - 99.99 39.99
100 - 129.99 44.99
130 - 149.99 48.99
150 - 150+ Approx 28%

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York Elderberry Is Suited to Grow in Zones 3-9
Growing Zones 3-9
More Information
Brand Nature Hills' Choice
Botanical Name Sambucus canadensis 'York'
Type Deciduous
Mature Height 10 - 12 feet
Mature Spread 8 - 12 feet
Sun Exposure Full Sun, Partial Shade
Soil Widely Adaptable
Moisture Moderate to Low
Growth Rate Fast
Flower Color White
Foliage Deciduous
Foliage Color Green
Fall Color Red
Harvest Time Mid Season
Pollinator Friendly Yes
Pruning Time After Flowering
Fragrant Yes