[nafex] Pruning advice?
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Mon Dec 24 16:05:59 EST 2012
I've to an Illinois Everbearing mulberry that is about 10 feet tall now.
It is a single stem but has grown in a very bush way, with several
branches close to the ground that are very vigorous, often growing
nearly as tall as the leader. I have had trouble even getting the tree
to grow up from the leader because these lower branches have been more
One advantage of having low hanging branches is that the fruit is easy
to get to. However, I probably need to train it up as a regular tree and
figure that it should branch until about 3 or 4 feet off the ground. I
assume that as the tree gets mature, it will eventually shade out the
So here's my concern. I just sawed off the very lowest branch, which was
only about 6 inches off the ground and constituted a good quarter of the
bulk of the tree. There is another major branch at about 8 inches above
the ground and a third at about 18 to 20 inches or so. After that, the
next branch is about 3 feet, which I think may be acceptable.
So I've cut off the lowest branch - taking a huge chunk of the tree with
it. Should I cut off the other two lower branches now, which result in
removing over half of the tree? Or should I leave them temporarily,
letting them grow during this next season and maybe cutting off the
bottom-most one next year, and the third one the year after?
I'm asking myself what is wrong with leaving it the way it is. For one
thing, the lower branches just put on most of the growth and the tree
doesn't seem to grow up from the leader that much. For another, it
doesn't LOOK like a tree! It's just a huge bushy thing and it seems like
eventually those lower branches will have to go.
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