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Botanic Garden > Most Popular Plants > Mulberry Tree > How to Trim a Fruitless Mulberry Tree

How to Trim a Fruitless Mulberry Tree

2016/8/8 10:19:36

Overview

The fruitless mulberry is a common shade and street tree in the Morus genus--several similar varieties exist. All varieties are tall--up to 60 feet--and have an attractive canopy of large, lobed leaves that fall in autumn. When the tree is bare and dormant, you need to prune it. Trimming a fruitless mulberry can be a big job if you skip even one year, because branches can grow 15 to 20 feet in one season. The method used for trimming a fruitless mulberry is called "pollarding"--this technique involves trimming off all branches from the main trunk.

Step 1

Trim your tree in winter, when your fruitless mulberry has dropped all of its leaves. Assess the size of your tree and the size of the job--if your tree is very tall and its branches are long, consult with an arborist before you begin.

Step 2

Cut every branch on the outer side of its branch collar using loppers, a hand tree saw or chain saw. Take care not to cut into the collar or the main trunk. The tree will look almost like a tall stump when you are finished trimming it because all of its branches will be gone.

Step 3

Prune the top branches from younger trees to help train them into a spreading, attractive shape. Do not top older trees after you have trained them.

Step 4

Spread a layer of pruning tar over all areas that you have cut to help protect it from insects and diseases that might enter through these vulnerable places.

Step 5

Dispose of your cut branches by either taking them to your municipal green waste center or grinding them with a chipper/shredder. You can use ground-up fruitless mulberry branches as mulch around your tree and in other garden areas. Or, add them to your compost pile.

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