Elderberry Questions

I planted six elderberry plants last year. This year they are five to six feet tall and have fruit set. Question is how do you tell when the fruit is optimum for harvesting? I have them enclosed with bird netting so letting the fruit hang awhile is not a problem. Another question is can they be hedged during dormancy to control height without damage to the plant or fruit productiveness? I would like to keep them to no higher than six or seven feet.

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