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I've planted a dormant bareroot 2' tall mulberry seedling, and I'm wondering what sort of pruning is required. It's a full size tree, not any sort of dwarf variety. It has several branches already.

  • Right now: should I do any initial pruning? (E.g. for apple trees it is often recommended to prune them to "whips".)
  • On an annual basis: what are the recommended timing and practices?
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1) According to the temperature of this moment. I have read that it can snow until April. The ideal time to prune the mulberry tree is before the spring vegetative growth but avoid the intense frost of the coldest months.

2) The mulberry tree is a plant exuberant, most of the bud is able to bear fruit. Therefore, you can operate without much thoughts. Since, even in the event of drastic interventions, specimens don't fail to recover quickly.

  • Pruning should be carried out by removing the branches damaged by the weather, dried, dressed, thinned or weakened. You also remove the branches that overlap between them, in such a way as to give more air and sun inside the foliage, for the maturation of the fruits even more inside.
  • The branches of greater diameter must be trimmed to a third of their length, but, if necessary, it can also halve. In doing so we must always remember that the more buds are left on the mulberry, and the more the fruits are small, so if you want less blackberries, but full and juicy, you can perform pruning more pronounced.
  • it is always general rule that you should not remove more than 30% of the total leaf area of the mulberry tree, to avoid imbalances in energy to the plant.

The pruning will always be in this period, performed in the same way.

And finally, an interesting advice: from the pruned branches can be removed mulberry bark, and set aside to ligatures in the garden (for example, those tomatoes and zucchini). This method 'ecological' avoids the use of synthetic strings!

  • Thanks for this answer. You say "you can operate without much thought, since even in the event of drastic interventions specimens fail to recover quickly" but I wonder if that's worded right. It sounds like you mean that they're a vigorous plant and will recover, but you say "fail to recover"? Also, what is a "gem"? Is that what I might call a "bud"? – bstpierre Apr 18 '13 at 1:20
  • sorry for mistake - "you can operate without much thoughts", safely. About the final, read please "recover" as "regrow". Ill EDIT it. Hope this mor clear (otherwise feel free to ask) :) – violadaprile Apr 18 '13 at 1:23
  • Gems are new leeaves and branches, just very little. Or "bud" if you want. – violadaprile Apr 18 '13 at 1:32
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I have had several mulberry trees over the years. You can not kill them. Prune when you have the time and concentrate more on the shape you want. If you don't like the shape try again in a couple years.

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