American elder Sambucus canadensis
IDENTIFICATION — A quick way to identify this tree seedling is to crush a stem or a few leaves and you’ll get a disagreeable odor. Break or cut a mature stem and you’ll discover a spongy white pith in the center. And last but not least, the creamy white flowers in spring and the dark purple fruits that follow are in large, flat-topped clusters.
FAVORITE CONDITIONS — Full sun to part shade in moist, fertile soil is where you’re likely to find American elder. It also tolerates moderately dry conditions.
CONTROL — Pull or dig out saplings or spray with a nonselective herbicide like Roundup®.