Drapeau, R. and Charlebois, D. 2012. American elder cultivation under cold climates: Potential and limitations. Can. J. Plant Sci. 92: 473–484. The hardiness, development, fruit yield and anthocyanin content of six American elder (Sambucus canadensis L.) cultivars from an orchard in a relatively cold area (Normandin, QC) were evaluated over a 7-yr period. Although the study site was located further north than this species' natural range, the six cultivars tolerated the climatic conditions well and exhibited good growth. Fruit production was moderate in the first 2 yr after planting and then hovered around 5 kg per plant in the following 2 yr for all cultivars except for the wild ecotype. The short growing season under Normandin's climatic conditions limited fruit maturation, however. The fruits produced in Normandin generally had a lower anthocyanin content than their counterparts produced in L'Acadie, in southern Quebec. The selection or development of early cultivars or the production of flowers should therefore be recommended in cold climates. Conversion of the biomass produced during pruning could be considered as an additional source of revenue. The results of this study demonstrate, for the first time, the production potential of American elder in orchards under climatic conditions comparable with those in the Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean region.
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Vol. 92 • No. 3