[nafex] Pruning advice?

Matt Demmon mdemmon at gmail.com
Thu Dec 27 07:48:37 EST 2012

I have several seedling mulberries that I planted near the chicken yard for
shade and hopefully fruit. I prune the sh*t out of them every year to keep
them in bounds horizontally, while hoping that they will grow up
vertically. First of all, no amount of pruning mulberries seems to injure
or discourage them in any way. And second of all, 2 out of 3 of the
mulberries seem to want to grow every which way but up. I think mulberries
often grow with very odd forms, but most of them around here seem to
eventually to grow more or less into a more or less upright/leaning
sometimes multi-trunked or poorly branched tree.

I'd say just keep hacking and it should get the point eventually. ;)

z5 se MI

On Mon, Dec 24, 2012 at 4:05 PM, Jay Cutts <orders at cuttsreviews.com> wrote:

> 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
> vigorous.
> 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
> bottom-most branches.
> 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.
> Any thoughts?
> Regards,
> Jay
> Jay Cutts
> Director, Cutts Graduate Reviews
> Lead Author, Barron's MCAT Prep Book
> Lead Author, Barron's LSAT Prep Book (2013)
> (505) 281-0684
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