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Mulberry pruning

Hello all, I have a Morus Nigra tree which is about 5 years old about 2m tall. It doesn't have a central leader but 4 main stems of similar size growing at just above ground height. I would like to grow it into a standard type low spreading tree but feel some apprehension about pruning it as it seems like drastic action....

a) is it safe to take off 3 main stems to turn it into a standard or will it weaken/kill the tree?

b) is it a good time of year to do this? I read that late winter can cause bleeding which can weaken the tree and introduce disease, is this correct?

c) if I leave it as is, will I just end up with a big untidy mulberry bush?

Thanks in advance for your advice!



  • LiriodendronLiriodendron Scariff, County Clare, IrelandPosts: 7,872
    My 4-year-old granddaughter would tell you mulberries are supposed to be bushes, so you can go round and round them...   ;)

    I don't know anything about mulberries.  But my suspicion, based on other multi-stemmed trees, is that at 5 years old, it won't do it a lot of good to hack it about so much.  Others may disagree, of course.
    "The one who plants trees, knowing that he will never sit in their shade, has at least started to understand the meaning of life."  Rabindranath Tagore
  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 21,255
    It’s a bit late to be pruning it now, as you say. November is the best month, when it is completely dormant.

    May I ask why you have decided to change its shape after five years? It will be difficult to choose one of the stems to become a vertical trunk, I should imagine. It will always be lopsided.

    I would guess that you are going to have to wait another five years at least before you see a single mulberry on it anyway so why not just buy a standard tree and enjoy your two mulberries for what they are?
    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • Hi, I bought it when it was 4 years old and I wanted it to settle in before pruning it. I don't have the room for another tree so I'm not sure what to do... 
  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 21,255
    Well, if the one you have now is all you have space for then at least you gave until November to decide....
    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
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