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How to train/prune a mulberry bush into a proper tree?

Posted by isis_21 (My Page) on
Mon, Sep 24, 12 at 2:41

Hi All,

I have a black mulberry bush/tree which I planted in the garden about 18 months ago. It's now approximately 2 metres tall. I bought it as a tree, but it looks like a bush, with several branches radiating out from a central point/stem in the ground.

I would like to grow this plant as a tree, but at the moment it has no single stem/trunk. Do I need to prune it myself for it to take on a tree shape or will it eventually start looking like a tree on its own?? Any advice or suggestions would be greatly appreciated as at the moment I've no idea what to do with it. Thanks! :) Anita

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: How to train/prune a mulberry bush into a proper tree?


Or we could just switch trees lol. I have a black mulberry here that insists it wants to be a tree even though I want it to be a bush. If it has multiple stems coming from the ground you will have to cut the extras and just choose one to be the trunk.

RE: How to train/prune a mulberry bush into a proper tree?

Choose the most vertical branch and remove the others, either completely, in very early spring, or gradually, with a lot of summer pruning. If needed, use a piece of rebar or other stake to keep the chosen branch straight and vertical and remove all branches more than a third the diameter of the trunk (that is branches coming off your chosen branch) at point of attachment to maintain vertical growth (apical dominance, which you can look up).

RE: How to train/prune a mulberry bush into a proper tree?

You may want to look at see if the nursery provided you a grafted mulberry tree.
If it has stems coming up from the ground it may be from the mulberry they used as a rootstock which I think I read is usually bad (like Russian mulberry rootstock I think?). In other words, if its grafted, get rid of those other stems coming up from the ground anyway. and keep the main trunk/stem that the plant came with.

If its not, then just pick strongest growing one as the main trunk (and may want to train/tie it upwards along a wood stake so it grows very straight, and get rid branches you want later on [I forget when to prune, since mulberries 'bleed' white stuff. You can google it.].)


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