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Home Guides Garden Gardening Mulberry Pruning and the Bearing of Fruit Mulberry fruits come in several different colors, although the black mulberry is considered the best tasting.

Related Articles The Best Ways to Trim a Mulberry Tree How Long Does It Take a Mulberry Tree to Grow to Maturity? How to Cut Back a Fruitless Mulberry Tree How to Prune Weeping Mulberry Trees

There are three types of mulberries commonly grown in the United States. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 5 through 9, was imported from Asia for silkworm production and is used mostly as an ornamental. Non fruiting clones of this plant have been developed. The red mulberry (Morus rubra) is native to the Eastern United States, growing in USDA zones 5 to 9. It is a sizable tree that produces large amounts of fruit. The black mulberry (Morus nigra) is native to Asia and is smaller, more particular about soil and climate conditions and is planted in the United States mostly along the Pacific Coast in USDA zones 6 through 11.

Early Training It is important to train the tree to a strong branch structure when young. White and red mulberries naturally form a tree shape, although branches may be too close. Black mulberries tend to remain bushy. Start by removing dead, broken or diseased branches. Next, remove branches from the lower third of the tree. Finally, thin the remaining branches so that they are spaced 6 inches apart up and down the trunk. Prune during the winter dormant period.

Pruning for Fruit Production When the tree reaches 10 to 12 feet do not remove any more of the lower branches. Continue to develop a balanced branch structure on the upper part of the tree with branches spaced about 6 inches apart. Avoid cuts over 2 inches because they bleed badly. Prune new growth to six leaves in July to produce spurs, as fruit is produced only on new growth or on spurs on older growth.

Fruit Production Mulberries will begin producing fruit about 10 years from the seedling stage. Grafted or asexually propagated varieties may produce fruit sooner. Large amounts of fruit can be produced on small, young trees. The name of the mulberry does not necessarily reveal the color of the fruit. The largest and best tasting fruit is said to come from the black mulberry, although a number of hybrids and cultivars are available that produce good quality fruit.

Male and Female Trees Mulberries can be monoecious, meaning that male and female flowers are found on different trees, or dioecious, with both male and female on the same tree. They will also sometimes change from one to the other when stressed. This is the reason a fruitless mulberry (male) may suddenly begin producing fruit after heavy pruning. The varieties sold for fruit production are dioecious and do not require cross pollination. in horticulture, is a retired cooperative extension specialist and teaches courses in urban farming. White Mulberry

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mulberry handbag sale black friday Mulberry Pruning and the Bearing of Fruit