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Pruning Mulberry trees

RegBRegB Posts: 25

I have 2 mulberry trees in my garden in SW France. They have been identified as white mulberries thanks to a previous posting on this forum.

am I able to use these trees the same way the French use their black mulberries by heavy pruning and creating a shade canopy under which to sit? They are currently over 10 years old

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  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 20,545

    They seem to be doing quite a good job of spreading already. I have a black mulberry and its natural shape would be along the same lines as these - sort of round and blobby. From what I remember of seeing white mulberry trees they end up more vertical and conical.I don't know if that is there natural shape or one they were given though,

    As you won't be growing them for fruit, I'd say you could train them to do more or less anything you liked, including making a dense shade tree. Sorry I can't be more constructive.

    Do you plan to make silk? Are you in the old Hugenot part of France? My knowledge of geography is a bit shaky.

    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 79,322

    I know very little about growing mulberry trees, although I am particularly fond of one that I know image  so I had a Google and found this http://theshakespeareblog.com/blog/page/15/ 

    if you scroll down you'll find stuff about the mulberry tree's connection with Shakespeare - you may not find it interesting, but I did so I thought I'd share image

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • RegBRegB Posts: 25

    Thank you for your replies pansy face and Dovefromabove. We live between Toulouse and Bordeaux on the edge of Gascony. I will check the Shakespeare connection, my wife will be interested.

    my worry is that the trees are likely to grow too large for my garden. I inhereted them and wouldn't have planted them myself. How big is your black mulberry Dovefromabove? Do you have a large garden? Do you let it grow naturally?

  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 20,545

    Thanks for that link Dove, it was fascinating. I didn't know that they had closed New Place to non-residents. No doubt to keep the mulberries to themselves. The variety that Shakespeare knew must have been the one that was brought back from the Crusades (and this is a scion), because King James I (after whom my variety is named) hadn't been invited down to England by the time Shakespeare shuffled off his mortal coil. An amazing thought that one plant can be propagated on and on for centuries isn't it?

    RegB, I think we are T cross purposes. You say that you have white mulberries whereas Shakespeare and I (I like the sound of Shakespeare and I) own(ed) the black one. Mine is a mere infant compared to his though.

    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 79,322

    The black mulberry that I'm fond of isn't in my garden - it's in an enclosed courtyard, called The Garth at Blackfriars, part of Norwich School of Art.  Many a sandwich lunch has been eaten under that tree by happy art students.  The Garth is roughly the size of a lawn tennis court.  

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • RegBRegB Posts: 25

    Thank you both. I think my two grow to 20 metres high and will cover my garden. Therefore they are candidates for either severe pruning or felling. Thanks for you help.

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 79,322

    I've seen that Wikipedia states they grow to 20m but I'd take that info with a large pinch of salt.

    Everywhere else I've seen White Mulberry described as a small to medium sized tree and this site says it'll grow to 5-10m http://www.barcham.co.uk/trees-for-sale/buy-white-mulberry-morus-alba-platanifolia 

    If it was me I'd want to be much more sure of my information before I started reducing the size of what appear to be lovely well-balanced trees, and possibly ruining their overall appearance. 

    I think more research is needed. image

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 20,545

    I agree. My old book says 30 feet, which is about the same.

    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • RegBRegB Posts: 25

    Mike, I get no fruits. I believe one must have a male and a female For pollinationI have two of the same so, I have been here( in SW France) for 8 years. No fruits! I'm afraid my garden cannot house these two trees.

    what more research can I do Dovefromabove above? Any suggestions? I would like to avoid getting rid of them

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 79,322

    I understand that if these have been planted to provide shade then they will both have been the same sex, as people don't want the fruits dropping onto garden benches and staining people's clothes etc.

    If I were you I'd buy or build a pretty seat and enjoy the garden.  I'm sorry but I really can't see anything wrong with your trees.  They're a lovely shape, they'll provide you with shade from the noonday sun and they won't grow very much bigger than they already are.

     

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     What other planting have you planned for that part of your garden?

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    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







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