If you like the look of Japanese Maples here is a less expensive alternative. Beautiful chartreuse foliage tinged with red; it really captures everyone's attention. It can be controlled in size by either removing one third of the older branches or cutting it hard back about 12" from the ground. However, cutting back hard, you will sacrifice having the lovely flowers in the Spring and the red berries that follow later on. The berries feed the birds and are edible for humans but must be cooked first before using them to make jams or wine. It can reach over seven feet very quickly over the summer, as I have cut mine back these past three years. This year I will try it the other way to see what happens. I love this small shrub so much that I have since added two other Sambucus culivars to my garden.
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