Hello- For 12 years I have tried to establish a wall of rhodies between our property and the neighbors. There are 5 roseum's in a line and a couple further up in the woods. Behind the line of 5 are a couple elderberry trees (Sambucus). The 2 lower on the hill are fine- big, healthy, the 3 that are higher up and directly in front of the elders die off every 2 or 3 years. Has anyone else ever heard of elders not playing nice with other plants? The ones up in the woods are fine as well. . .
No, but I have read that the elders are quite poisonouos to humans. Their poison can convert to cyanide inside the human body. How is the water & soil drainage up there by the elders? I am not aware of root competition between elders and other plants; and you? Can you call someone at the University of Arkansas's Cooperative Extension Service in Little Rock?
Ha ha, I'm in Alaska. Since it's a fairly steep slope the drainage is fine, it's still a bit wet here though since we're in a rainforest. That was my first thought- too wet but the ground seems consistent throughout the property. The elders are the only difference. I don't like them so perhaps I'll just kill them off and replant with something else. The birds really like the berries so I've left them but they are week wooded and messy. I'll contact our extension agent and see what they think. Thank you!