Elder tends to be between 5 and 10 foot tall,( but I have read some types grow taller), with branches that branch outwards from the base. They sucker, so it is common to find multi-stemmed sprawling thickets.
You can see in the above photo how many branches rather grow swooping out from the base. Some do grow more upright and don’t show the graceful swoop until they are loaded with leaves, flowers/berries.
A telling feature for identification is the warty like growths on the bark. Just little rough raised areas, (scabrous),as you can see in the above picture.The bark itself looks rather grayish with a very light red cast to it.
When cut, you can see the stem is filled with a light, porous pith.
I hope this helps any of you who are having trouble identifying elderberry trees in the winter!
Big herbal and honey hugs to all who visit Comfrey Cottages xx