[NAFEX] mulberries - pruning to weep

Hilborn.E at epamail.epa.gov Hilborn.E at epamail.epa.gov
Tue Jun 2 10:59:51 EDT 2009

Alan wrote:
"The only mulberry I grow here is Illlinois Everbearing and it too has a
mysterious tendency to check out with no suicide note.  Sometimes they
get canker that I've never identified that kills the trees in a few
years and sometimes they just don't come out of winter.  At least they
often send up suckers from the roots when this happens so you can graft
a new tree.  They are susceptible to scale so oil may be in order.

They are impossible for me to keep in a small space but you can keep
them in-bounds by pruning them to a weep and summer pruning them once a
season- removing all vigorous upright growth.  They make beautiful trees
managed this way and you keep a lot of fruit in ladderless reach. "

But HOW do you prune them to weep?

 I have been trying for a year by pruning upright growth to a downward
facing bud.  When the lateral grows, it heads up again.  I have even
thought of training each lateral by tying it to a weeping form while it
is soft, before it becomes woody.  But that seems like an AWFUL lot of

Are there any other methods to try?

Betsy Hilborn
7a NC

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