Pruning a weeping mulberry

Old 04-18-05, 07:10 PM
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Pruning a weeping mulberry

I've searched for advice on the internet, and really haven't found anything specific on this subject. We have a weeping mulberry as an ornamental tree in our landscaping, and it is very luxuriant. The only thing we have done as far as pruning is trimmed off dead branches and trimmed the branches up from the ground, so that they aren't dragging. However, it has an awful lot of weeping branches and they are REALLY getting thick! I'm curious what the best way is to prune this tree.

We had mulberry trees on the farm where I grew up, so I know that they grow like weeds and it's pretty hard to kill them. So I guess I'm thinking that any amount of trimming wouldn't harm this tree. I've seen some pages on the internet that show it trimmed high (like an umbrella) cropped all the way around evenly- since the new growth will reach the ground during the summer.

But I guess I'm wondering if it wouldn't be better to be selective and prune out perhaps 50% of the weeping branches near their main branch, and then trim the other 50% at varying lengths so that the tree doesn't look like it just got a "butch" haircut. Any thoughts?
Old 04-20-05, 01:11 PM
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Pruning a tree is somewhat more involved than just cutting branches and their tips. Pruning tips give you the bowl haircut look. Selectively pruning branches to reduce the crown or thin it will help produce a less dense canopy. Fighting the tree's natural tendency to grow long branches, drooping to the ground, may require some diligence.

Here is a paper from the USDA on the basics of pruning. I find this discussion and guide to be quite helpful.


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