Mulberry pruning: methods, rules and tips

For good growth and development of fruit trees, including mulberries, pruning is necessary from time to time. Get familiar with the main reasons and step-by-step instructions for forming a crown for decorative, anti-aging and sanitary purposes.

Causes and rules for pruning mulberries

Is it possible to lay out a mini version of the English park on the site? What to do if productivity drops sharply? These and other issues are resolved by trimming the crown.

When and why pruning is done:

  • To rejuvenate the tree and increase its productivity. Gardeners prune a plant if the quality and quantity of the crop decreases markedly (for example, the fruits fall to the ground before they ripen, there are few berries or they become small, etc.). Removing unnecessary infertile branches will “unload” the root system, which means that mulberry will release new fruitful shoots and direct nutrients to the formation of fruits. In addition, reducing the number of branches will facilitate pollination of flowers, which will affect the increase in productivity (this is more true for young trees).
  • In order to prevent disease. An overly thickened tree crown can provoke the development of a fungus (powdery mildew, brown spotting), which also affects other cultures. Regular thinning of the crown will allow the branches to receive the necessary amount of sunlight, as well as to avoid or significantly reduce the contact of healthy branches with the diseased.
  • When forming a crown. Correctly formed crown will provide the mulberry with the most favorable conditions for development and life. Trimming is used not only for practical, but also for decorative purposes.

There are several rules, observing which, the gardener will save the tree from injuries and damage during the procedures:

  • Keep in mind that the purpose of cropping affects the time it takes. Sanitary is better to carry out in the fall, and rejuvenating or forming it is desirable to postpone until spring.
  • If you want to shorten the shoot, on which there is a kidney, the cut must be done at an angle of 50 ° 0.5-1 cm above it.
  • If you remove the whole branch, position the blade exactly perpendicular to the surface to get a smooth cut.
  • Use special tools. A pruning shear is suitable for cutting thin shoots, no thicker than 2.7 cm, for working with thicker branches (from 2.5 to 3.5 cm in diameter) or shoots located in hard-to-reach places - a delimber, and if you need to remove more larger branches, then use a garden saw. Note that it is impossible to replace it with ordinary carpentry, since the blade of the gardener's tool is designed so as not to injure the tree during work.

Correctly selected tools will simplify the pruning process and protect the tree from injuries, the place to cut must be treated with a garden var

Be sure to sanitize garden tools after use with purified alcohol or fire to prevent the transmission of infections from one tree to another.

Formative tree pruning

Choose a cropping method based on your goals. With due patience and zeal, the result will be the same as in the photo illustrations.

Simple (to increase yield)

If you do not pursue the goal of making mulberry a decoration of the site, but only want to get a quality crop, it is enough to just form the crown of the tree.

Start immediately after planting a seedling in the ground. The crown formation procedure, as a rule, applies only to one- and two-year-old seedlings. Like other fruit trees, for mulberry this procedure takes several years.

Table: tree crown formation by years

Permanent seat ageFirst yearSecond yearThird yearFourth and subsequent years
Annual seedlingDescription: as a rule, the shoot does not have lateral processes.

Trimming Activities:

  1. Cut the plant to a height of 1 m. If the seedling is shorter, leave it as it is.
  2. If there are shoots on a young tree, cut them off completely .
Description: the shoot has strong side branches.

Trimming Activities:

  1. Leave the 3-5 most developed and horizontally (at an angle of 45 ° or more) shoots at a height of 70 cm from the tree, remove the rest.
  2. Cut the central branch so that it is 4–5 buds longer than the others. If the seedling on the top bifurcates, then remove one of the shoots.
  3. Cut the lateral skeletal shoots so that they are longer than the upper ones. The length of the lower branches should not exceed 30 cm.
The mulberry consists of a central shoot (trunk) and several crown-forming (skeletal) branches.

A three-year-old tree is considered an adult, therefore, forming pruning is not necessary.

If necessary, sanitary pruning is carried out, in which non-viable parts of the tree are removed.
Two year old seedlingDescription: The shoot has strong lateral branches.

Trimming Activities:

  1. Trim all side branches at a height of up to 70 cm.
  2. From the branches located above, remove those that grow at an acute (less than 45 °) angle with respect to the trunk.
  3. Tame the remaining horizontal shoots in the amount of 3-5 pieces to the third or fifth kidney, counting from the trunk. The upper shoots should be shorter than the lower ones.
  4. If the seedling at the top bifurcates, then completely remove one of the shoots.
A three-year-old tree does not need forming pruning, it is enough sanitary (if necessary).Check for nonviable branches and shoots and get rid of them in a timely mannerKeep your mulberry in good shape with sanitary measures

Regular pruning will allow you to get a mulberry tree (bush) of the kind you want

The optimum mulberry height depends on the region in which it grows. In the southern regions, you need to trim the trunk so that it is no higher than 3 m - firstly, it is more convenient to harvest, and secondly, the tree will not spend energy on further growth, but will direct them to the formation of fruits. Residents of the northern latitudes do not need this: in a cold climate, the plant does not grow more than 2 m.

Decorative (for beauty)

There are several ways to aesthetically shape the mulberry crown. In this case, starting events is also better with seedlings no older than two years.

Magnificent spherical crown of a mulberry

When forming a spherical crown, you need to leave long branches in the center, and shorter ones above and below: the more labor, the better the “ball” looks

  1. Make a shtamb, cutting off all side shoots to a height of 1-1.5 m.
  2. Shorten the central shoot to 2–4 m, taking into account the height of the stem. Once every 2 years, it must be cut to 1/3 .
  3. The lateral branches are processed according to the following scheme: cut the lowest branches 1/3 of the length, closer to the center 1/4, while the longest shoots should remain in the middle. Shorten the branches at the top by 1/3, in the middle - by 1/4. The main thing is that all the shoots at the same level should be of equal length and not bulge out of the crown.

Broom pruning for landscape gardening

Mulberry with a broom-shaped crown will become a spectacular decorative element on a personal plot or in a park

  1. Make a shtamb by shortening all the side branches to a height of 1-1.5 m.
  2. Select 3-4 of the strongest shoots, growing horizontally at approximately the same level (the divergence angle is about 120 °), and cut them to the fourth kidney, counting from the trunk.
  3. Equate the central conductor to the upper skeletal branch. This can be done not immediately, but in 1-2 years after the main pruning - in this case, the trunk of your mulberry tree will get better.
  4. In subsequent years, remove all branches from the side shoots growing inside the crown.

Features of Weed Mulberry Pruning

If you planted weeping mulberry, then you can form its crown of any length, even to the ground, most importantly, carry out formative procedures in time and trim the overgrown shoots in a timely manner. Note that the optimal length of such shoots is approximately 30 cm.

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As in the case of ordinary varieties, seedlings no older than two years are suitable for forming a crown.

It is possible to form a crown of weeping mulberry of any length, the main thing is to prevent “shaggy” (shoots should be the same)

  1. Get a shtamb up to 1.5 m long by removing all side shoots.
  2. Cut the dangling annual shoots located above to the third or fourth kidney, counting from the trunk. The remaining kidney should be facing out.
  3. In the second and third years, the newly formed annual shoots cut into the fifth or sixth kidney, counting from the trunk. As in the previous case, the kidney remaining from the edge should grow outward.
  4. For the fourth and subsequent years, trim the branches. Continue this procedure until the crown of the desired length grows.

If you buy a mulberry seedling older than 5-6 years in the nursery, the crown has already been formed (this applies to both ordinary and decorative). You only have to carry out sanitary pruning from time to time.

How to shape a bush

If you want to get a neat bush, it is advisable to choose seedlings on which there are already shoots. For an annual plant without shoots, it is better to postpone the event until next year, so that the branches grow over the summer period.

Table: bush pruning rules

First yearSecond yearThird year
Formation Activities
  1. Leave in the crown of the seedling 2-4 strong shoots located in the lower part of the trunk. In this case, the branches nearest to the ground should be located at a distance of 15 cm from the soil level, the uppermost - 50 cm. Note that the branches are at an angle of 45 ° to the trunk.
  2. Cut the selected shoots to the third or fourth kidney, counting from the trunk.
  3. Remove all other branches.
  4. Trim the center conductor (trunk) at the topmost shoot.
  1. Again select 2–4 strong shoots and cut them to the third or fourth kidney, counting from the trunk.
  2. Shorten last year's shoots by a third or a quarter of the length.
  3. Cut off all other shoots.
The bush is considered fully formed (consists of 4-8 skeletal branches).

It is necessary to delete:

  • branches growing inside the crown;
  • weak annual shoots.

In the future, care is reduced to sanitary pruning (removal of horizontal shoots, branches growing close to the ground and shortening of too long shoots to 30 cm).

Mulberry Seasonal Pruning

Seasonal pruning of mulberries is recommended twice a year - in spring and autumn. At this time, the tree is either at rest or immersed in it, so this procedure will be the least traumatic.

Autumn procedures

Pruning is carried out after the crown falls, and the temperature should not be lower than -10 ° C, otherwise the sections will not heal well. The algorithm is as follows:

  1. Examine the tree and cut out all diseased, dried and twisted branches, and also remove the shoots growing inside the crown.
  2. If the mulberry has formed a horizontal shoot (young plants grown next to an adult tree), then remove it too.
  3. Coat large sections (reaching more than 1 cm in diameter) with garden varieties or drying oil based paints.

Sanitary pruning should be carried out 1 time in several years. If your mulberry is distinguished by the rapid formation of new shoots (as a rule, this applies to trees growing in the southern regions), then such events are held once every 3-4 years. If shoot formation is moderate, which is characteristic of the middle zone and cold northern regions, then this period can be doubled. Remove diseased and dried branches as needed.

Video: features of autumn pruning

Spring care

It is best to trim during the period of complete rest of the mulberry - from late February to early March. If you cannot complete the procedures at this time, then this period can be extended in the most extreme case until mid-April. At this time, in the mulberry, the rapid sap flow does not begin and the buds do not open, so the treatment will be the least painless. Like autumn, spring pruning must be carried out at a temperature not lower than -10 ° C. Do not forget that in the spring, activities are usually carried out to form and rejuvenate the tree.

Video: working with the crown in spring

Anti-aging treatments for old wood

  1. First thin out the crown. To do this, cut out all the diseased branches, and also remove the branches growing vertically, inside the crown, clinging to each other.
  2. Cut the fourth and fifth order shoots. They, as a rule, are low-yielding, but can drag nutrients onto themselves and interfere with the development of productive branches.
  3. Coat large sections with garden varieties or oil based varnishes.

In order not to immediately get rid of a large number of branches, it is advisable to carry out anti-aging pruning in several stages. In the first year - the oldest and sickest branches, in the second - uncomfortably growing, etc., continuing until the mulberry has acquired the necessary appearance.

Summing up, we can say that pruning mulberries does not have any difficulties, and even a beginner can completely cope with this procedure. Following all the recommendations, you will definitely get a healthy beautiful tree and large yields will not keep you waiting.


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