pruning/ transplanting mulberry

joewormApril 15, 2012

I have a wild, native mulberry that is about eight feet tall and spindly. It's been growing under a canopy of trees and needs to be moved into the sun.

Can I transplant it now ( in April )in Florida ?

Or could it be pruned or cut back now then transplanted in the winter?

Thanks

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bamboo_rabbit(9A Inverness FL)

Joe,

Mulberry are tough plants I would not worry about transplanting it. I prune mine in to bushes, just so much easier to enjoy the fruit in that form.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2012 at 10:05PM
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joeworm

Bamboo,

Does that mean I can transplant it this time of year without any problems?

When can it be pruned?

I was thinking about cutting it way back so only the trunk is left, maybe 2 feet of trunk, then let it bush out. Does that sound doable? Can I transplant it now and prune it at the same time?

Thanks

    Bookmark   April 15, 2012 at 10:22PM
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copingwithclay

I have dug up and potted many mulberry seedlings and am always impressed with the extensive root systems. If you could slowly saturate the soil all around the tree and afterwards use a forked garden tool or pitchfork to loosen the soil from the roots, so much the better. After you end up with a big bare rooted plant that I soak in a big tub of water for a couple days before replanting it. Adding Super Thrive to the water really helps, but is not necessary with mulberries. They are busy trying to take over the Earth, if jujubes don't do it first.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2012 at 10:32PM
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bamboo_rabbit(9A Inverness FL)

Joe,

I have transplanted them this time of year no problem. Yes you could prune it at the same time. Pruning it when transplanting is better for the plant anyway. What I do is cut it off at 2-3 feet and then constantly prune off the new growth that tries to grow up. All you are doing is removing the growing tip from the limbs to cause it to branch.

We had a couple of big mulberry bushes up north and a couple of them in tree form as well. The bushes are just easier. Mine here are young and in training but they grow fast.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2012 at 7:56AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

whether you do it now.. or in the PROPER PLANTING SEASON ... which would be when its dormant..

is simply a function of your ability to do PROPER AFTERCARE ...

you leave for one week.. or forget to water for one week.. and it could be a loss .. in z9 .. in the heat of summer ...

can it be done.. sure.. why not..

should it be done.. is left to the fates .. most likely.. its fate .

ken

    Bookmark   April 16, 2012 at 8:41AM
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joeworm

After care could be the problem with doing it now.
I've found several other small mulberry trees on the property so I'll try one or two now.

I'd like to try putting a couple of the plants in pots. Any ideas, advice on doing that?

Thanks

    Bookmark   April 16, 2012 at 1:06PM
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bamboo_rabbit(9A Inverness FL)

Joe,

If you mulch it heavily with chips after transplanting (away from the trunk of course) you really don't have to do much but give it a drink now and then. Far as potting them up I have no clue...maybe Fruitnut will chime in.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2012 at 5:16PM
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joeworm

Bamboo,
I'll try the mulch. I guess pine bark or leaves will do??
I've read that mulberry likes rich soil so I'm guessing lots of compost?

Thanks

    Bookmark   April 16, 2012 at 6:21PM
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bamboo_rabbit(9A Inverness FL)

Joe,

I just use tree company wood chips but the leaves would be great. The mulch really helps us Florida folks as it holds the moisture in and cools the soil. I just let the chips rot down...mulberry bushes are not high on my to be babied list though I do give them a a couple shovels full of rabbit manure a couple of times a year.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2012 at 7:20PM
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joeworm

"What I do is cut it off at 2-3 feet and then constantly prune off the new growth that tries to grow up. All you are doing is removing the growing tip from the limbs to cause it to branch."

When I cut the tree at 2-3 feet there won't be any limbs on the trunk, just trunk. When It starts putting out new growth, from the trunk that has been cut back, is that new growth what I prune?
How much do I let the new growth grow before pruning?

Not sure I follow you when you say you're trying to prune the new growth to keep it from growing up.???

If I follow correctly, the new growth from the trunk is what makes new limbs. It is those new limbs that are pruned at the tip?? How long would those new limbs get before pruning the tip? How much of the tip is pruned?

I guess I'm not completely following or am not sure if I am.

Thanks

    Bookmark   April 16, 2012 at 8:18PM
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Bradybb WA-Zone8

I found this video.It may help. Brady

Here is a link that might be useful: Pruning a Mulberry

    Bookmark   April 16, 2012 at 9:06PM
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bamboo_rabbit(9A Inverness FL)

Great video Brady. Joe does that clear it up?

    Bookmark   April 16, 2012 at 10:02PM
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iammarcus(6)

coping
I am not familiar with Super Thrive, exactly what is it, a fertilizer, growth hormone or something else?
Dan

    Bookmark   April 16, 2012 at 10:53PM
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copingwithclay

Super Thrive is a liquid concentrate containing nutrients for plants. It is not the $10/gallon root stimulator sold at many retail nurseries. I have been using a one pint bottle for about 10 years and still have some left.There are web sites where users and detractors duke it out over anecdotal experiences. For me, I use it in many ways with seeds, scions, potted plants, bare root plants, plant 'first aid', etc. The guy who persuaded me of his reason for using it commercially said that of the many hundreds of bare root fruit trees that he would get shipped in each Spring, that he expected a certain regretable percentage of them would not survive. Once he began soaking all the bare root fruit trees in a huge, shallow plastic-lined 'pond' containing S-T for a certain amount of time before potting them,.....that the mortality rate shrank to "about 1%" only. Although I have seen lots of results, the one that sticks out the most for me is regarding a store-bought Christmas tree that I got several years ago. After cutting off the bottom 1" of the trunk, I used a 1/4" spade bit to drill multiple horizontal holes in the lower 6" of the trunk to allow more water to be absorbed by the tree. When standing the tree up in the basin/tree stand combo, I put a whopping 2 tablespoons or so of S-T in the basin with the water. By the time February arrived, the tree had grown 40 to 50 new sprouts with new needles that were about 2 to 2-1/2" long. I took some photos. Regretfully, the trunk bottom did not make any roots. By late Feb. the sprouts began to dry and die. Maybe I should have added another tablespoon of S-T along the way....No, I do not work for that company. I did call them to tell them about the Christmas tree, and a worker there told me that they not only knew about that use for their product, but they also packaged a small container and marketed it for Christmas tree use. None of the other Christmas trees that I got ever got S-T, and none of them ever grew new sprouts. As many plants as I have unwittingly killed, I need all the help I can get. I can sometimes hear the faint sound of whimpering from plants as I stand at the checkout line to pay for them.Know what I mean? ?

    Bookmark   April 17, 2012 at 12:24AM
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joeworm

Brady,
Thanks for the video. Unfortunately I have slow dial-up and will have to wait until I can access a high speed connection to view it.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2012 at 9:04AM
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iammarcus(6)

coping
I can imagine how to use S-T with seeds, potted plants and bare rooted stock, however when using S-T for scions do you soak them before grafting or provide a wet bandage on the graft union. I just attemped a number of grafts and they don't look good.
Dan

    Bookmark   April 17, 2012 at 7:09PM
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copingwithclay

After cutting greenwood during the growing season for grafting, or after pulling dormant wood from the fridge for grafting, I pre-wrap all but the bottom 2" of the cut-to-length scions with stretched Parafilm. The buds on some kinds of fruit scions don't get covered, like pomegranate buds, for instance. I want to 'fill 'er up' with the S-T prior to graft day by standing the scions up inside of a tall cup which has about 1-1/2" of water with a few drops of S-T mixed in. If I had waxed the bottoms of the scions earlier, I clip off the bottom 1/4" so the 2" of unwrapped scion now submerged in the water/nutrient soup can wick up this soup. The scions can sit in the cup for an hour, or a day, or a couple days before they get bark grafted or cleft grafted.Before the actual grafting, I do pull them out of the soup and let them air dry for 1/2 hour or so until the soaked bark dries to a normal color.My thought is that the sealed scions can be nourished with the S-T until hopefully the r/s sap begins to flow downstream to it......To prepare the r/s before graft day, I water the whole r/s area well a couple days or so before graft day, and sometimes fertilize it also a number of days beforehand.The large number of very experienced grafters on this site do use many different procedures to graft successfully, and I value the superior counsel of those that have both invented the wheel and continue to make it better.There are lots of recipes for making good-eating gumbo.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2012 at 12:43AM
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joeworm

Brady,
I was able to view the video today and that is just what I needed to see.

Thanks

    Bookmark   April 19, 2012 at 2:03PM
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Bradybb WA-Zone8

Joe,
I'm happy it helps and I'm very glad she made it,because I have some young Mulberries and little space for them when they start growing. Brady

    Bookmark   April 19, 2012 at 10:42PM
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joeworm

It will be interesting to see how these wild mulberry work out. I have no idea what they might be or whether it is even worth the effort. That's the fun of gardening. Also potted some wild dewberry that are doing well so far.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2012 at 1:54AM
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Matt Webster

My yard was somewhat overrun with Mulberry. ...if there wasn't privet there, it was Mulberry. So I was cutting some of the Mulberry back, and left a stump. After about month, there were 2' shoots that sprouted up, so I was thinking of leaving them, and seeing if they would grow as bushes, and would thereby be easier to collect the fruit.

Is that the best way to do it? ...maybe I'll do that with some of the more established mulberry trees as well, once they go dormant this winter.

(For the privet, I cut, drill a hole in the stump, then drown it in extra concentrated brush killer.)

    Bookmark   July 25, 2012 at 12:27PM
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