With the rise in popularity of this excellent native shrub, I thought I would demonstrate how easy it is to create new elderberry shrubs in under a year. This is a general set of instructions for successful stem cuttings for Sambucus canadensis. I'm sure there are other ways and other opinions that are valid. This procedure works for me ( usually 100% ) so I see no reason to change it. If anyone one knows of a more efficient way, please feel free to chime in. The timing to do this is now, after the leaves have fallen.
These particular elderberry shrubs are quite young with most stems under an inch in diameter, which is what's needed for the cuttings.
Cut the stems off at the grounds. In general, don't leave stumps or cut stems randomly when maintaining shrubs. I cut these because they were leaning at too much of an angle to be able to support next year's growth.
Now it is time to actually break down the whole stem into the individual sections that will be used for the new plants.
Now look for buds which will be opposite of each other at regular intervals along the stem.
Here are two horrible images of the buds to look for. Notice they are opposite of each other and they are attached at an angle. The angle part is important later. Make cuts above and below the buds so you have stems with a set of buds on both ends as shown below.
Dividing the different sized stems into like-sized groups is helpful. All that's needed now is a tall container and a bright, warm spot. With the buds facing up, put the stems in a container and fill with water so the bottom set of buds is covered by an inch or so of water. Change the water frequently. The containers will likely need a larger volume of water over time to accommodate for the increasing amount of roots.