President’s Note: Elderberry Project

president's note elderberry project

The elderberry project here at the Kerr Center is progressing well. Bud break happened fast this year. Most plots broke bud within a two-week window.

In years past, elderberries have had bud break in early January, and the next year in early February, so it varies tremendously from year to year.

We are hoping to have better control of the eyrophyid mites this year by using ultra-fine horticultural oil and applying earlier.

We did make elderberry syrup and jelly from berries harvested in 2023. One issue we ran into was getting the elderberries to jell using recipes commonly found in published books or online. We needed to increase the amount of sugar to have success with the jelly.

We don’t have recommendations on varieties at this time. Once the project ends and the data is compiled, we will have a better understanding of which varieties do better in Oklahoma.

It is proving to be an interesting and challenging project, but should provide much-needed information to individuals interested in growing elderberries.

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