I bought two weeping mulberries this year, and I am really excited about them (see pic).

However, something confuses me. The person I bought them from says that each weeping mulberry (at least those that she sells) requires two grafts: one at the bottom, and one at the top.

Is that true?

And, if yes, why is that?

(I can't visually confirm that, all grafts are done so that they are almost not noticeable. I know though that unwanted shoots from the middle of the trunk have different leaves than those in the weeping crown.)

enter image description here

  • 1
    For a special form? E.g. not to growth very large. For special places (acid, very humid). The "required" is more for convenience, from seller POV: quick to produce stocks, or to you: quick to have a nice form. Few people care about the plant in 100 years. Nov 15 '17 at 8:31
  • What colour are the fruits? Also, can you post a picture for each leaf form? I will look into it.
    – Alina
    Nov 15 '17 at 9:04
  • And another thing, by middle of the trunk you mean the middle of the height or the center of the crown?
    – Alina
    Nov 15 '17 at 9:26
  • @Alina Middle of the height. The leaves coming from that point are deeply lobed, while the leaves in the crown are regular, heart shaped. They are all gone now, autumn. Fruit was dark purple.
    – VividD
    Nov 15 '17 at 9:43

Possible explanation 1

The rootstock is not compatible with the weeping part, so an intermediary variety is used for the plant to benefit both from the rootstock's traits and from the pendant top. It may be that the rootstock is adapted to a certain type of soil (sandy/heavy clay), is resistant to environment stress (drought/bad drainage), has a certain desired growth habit (taproot/shallow) or a desired growth speed (slow in black mulberry/fast in white mulberry).

Possible explanation 2

The trunk that should have grown from the rootstock was not convenient for the nursery - too slow or undesired growth habit (crooked stem/erect stem).

Whatever the reason, the lobed leaves growing from the middle of the trunk are young leaves emerging from epicormic shoots and you should remove them.

  • Thanks, your explanations sound right (esp. #1). I did remove young branches from the trunk with lobed leaves, they were so different, I tought they are not mulberry at all, but the neighbour said they are a sort of "wild mulberry" leaves. And later on I discovered that some species of Moruc have lobed leaves, in fact, some can have both kinds of leaves at the same time! :-o
    – VividD
    Nov 15 '17 at 15:11
  • Yes, young leaves have different shapes, but as the tree gets old the leaves grow unlobed, simple.
    – Alina
    Nov 15 '17 at 15:16
  • The trunk should not and does not grow in height direction at all. It does get thick, maybe its vascular system is important, and the reason for two grafts @stormy .
    – VividD
    Nov 15 '17 at 15:16
  • for the weeping crown of these mulberries, both young and old leaves are heart-shaped.
    – VividD
    Nov 15 '17 at 15:18
  • @VividD That's because the crown is a clone of the plant the top scion material came from. Also, when a trunk receives a scion on top, its growth stops.
    – Alina
    Nov 15 '17 at 15:48

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