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Mulberry Tree Help

 
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I have a 4 year old mulberry tree that is having a few issues. The first two years it grew a couple of feet each year and put out good mulberries. Last year the leaves and fruit on the tree were much smaller and the fruit tasted bland, but the tree still grew a couple of feet. This year the tree lost the top few feet of previous years growth, the leaves are still small, but the fruit tasted a little better than last year. This year I keep getting really good growth from the trunk of the tree but the top is growing slowly. I keep trimming the growth off from the bottom but it comes back in a few days. I now have bark damage where the limbs come out from the trunk. Do you have any ideas of what could be causing these issues? I have pictures attached. The tree was about three feet taller but I had to trim off the portion that died. It was only 2-3 feet tall when I planted it, and had a pencil thin trunk.
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pollinator
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Location: Wheaton Labs
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I'm not an expert with mulberry, but that looks like a pathogenic canker to me. Either fungal or bacterial.

Is it a grafted tree?
 
Billy Blankenship
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Josiah Kobernik wrote:I'm not an expert with mulberry, but that looks like a pathogenic canker to me. Either fungal or bacterial.

Is it a grafted tree?



No, it is from a cutting.
 
Josiah Kobernik
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I think that the tree is trying to replace it's diseased trunk by sending up new replacement trunks from its roots. As the old trunk dies, it's ability to transport energy from the roots is constricted, so that root energy must make a new way to reach for the sun.

I would consider allowing the root suckers to grow and see if they will succumb to the same disease. You could either leave the old trunk to die of its own, or use a sterilized pruning saw to make an angled heading cut two feet below the lowest canker. I would remove the diseased wood and burn it.

If the new leading stems also get the same disease, then I would try to grow a genetically different individual. Either from seed, or a cutting from a different plant. you might even consider planting seeds from this diseased tree.

these are just my thoughts, hope this helps.
 
Billy Blankenship
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Josiah Kobernik wrote:I think that the tree is trying to replace it's diseased trunk by sending up new replacement trunks from its roots. As the old trunk dies, it's ability to transport energy from the roots is constricted, so that root energy must make a new way to reach for the sun.

I would consider allowing the root suckers to grow and see if they will succumb to the same disease. You could either leave the old trunk to die of its own, or use a sterilized pruning saw to make an angled heading cut two feet below the lowest canker. I would remove the diseased wood and burn it.

If the new leading stems also get the same disease, then I would try to grow a genetically different individual. Either from seed, or a cutting from a different plant. you might even consider planting seeds from this diseased tree.

these are just my thoughts, hope this helps.



Thank you for your help, I will go with your suggestion. I saw small white bugs on it earlier. I looked it up and they are called planthoppers. I am wondering if they caused the damage. I found the bug because it was "spraying" droplets of water in the air. I guess it was somehow taking liquid from the tree. It is hard to get a look at them because they walk around the limb as you try to see them.
 
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