©BSNHS 2014

A member of the Caprifoliaceae family.

Very much a common native widespread tree found in woodland, hedgerows and wasteland, or where ever the soil has a high nitrogen content such as badger sets or rabbit warrens.

Regarded as a weed it is a small tree that can grow to 10m.

Bark is deeply furrowed greyish brown with dense branches and twigs. New stems in particular have a soft pithy centre. It is this pith that is used in science labs to hold freshly sliced material for mounting onto microscope slides.

Leaves pinnate with elliptical leaflets with usually seven pairs sometimes five or nine.

Only three galls have been recorded on Elder.

The fungus Jews ear (Auricularia auricula judae) is particularly noticeable in winter on dead stems

Elder flowers

ELder tree

Elder berries

July Tree of the Month - ELDER Sambucus nigra

Flowers as individual are small made up of three to five white petals and anthers but collectively form dense  flat topped  clusters up to 10-20cm across. The flowers are poplar with nectar feeding insects.

Fruits are a small black berry, which are readily consumed and dispersed by birds.