According to tradition, if you want to take from the Elder tree you must ask the tree’s permission. If the tree makes any sound at all, the answer is no; To take from the tree without permission means a curse and certain bad luck until you make amends…


Elder will grow in both wet and dry fertile soils, but in very wet soil the growth and fruiting can be heavily stunted. Primarily in sunny locations in woodland, scrub, hedgerows and wasteland. It often grows near rabbit warrens and badger setts where the seeds are distributed by animal droppings.
It is widespread in many temperate and sub-tropical regions of the world, and is native to the UK.


Elder is usually found as a shrub or small tree (usually up to 6 meters, but has been recorded up to 10 meters) and can live for 60 years. It is commonly characterised by its short trunk.

Like many other small trees it can grow as an upright tree or a straggly bush depending on the conditions and how it is cut back.

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