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Uprooting and relocating a young mulberry tree?

 
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Hey all!

I recently discovered a beautiful young (6-7 ft tall) chinese white mulberry tree in my yard, which is wonderful luck as I'm actually working on a sericulture enclosure, and white mulberry is fantastic for silkworms!

The issue: I only realized the tree was there when the city wanted to cut it all down. I only have a few days to rescue this cool little thing before it gets chopped!

I'm totally new to.. all of this and I'm not even sure how to go about this without killing the tree. What gives me hope is, as you can see in the pictures, the actual trunk of the tree (hidden behind some brambles) is only about 2 inches thick.

So! How do I go about this? Where do I even start? I would like to temporarily have it in a very large pot to transport to a new lot, if possible.
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I was once told to dig up 10 times the diameter of the trunk. So in your example, dig up  20 inches diameter.

Except when trying to move pecan trees, doing this has always been successful for me. Nut trees have very deep tap roots, even at a young age. Any attempts now are reseverved for under 6 inches in height. I rarely notice them at that height though. I also just move the ones I see, and leave them to chance... I have not monitored them after my first three apparant successes. Three is enough for my space.

Back to mulberries... I've read the roots of mulberry trees stay in the top 24 inches of soil. So, 20x20x24. That is going to be a heavy root ball. I hope you can find a pot that size... Alternately, some folk use weed barrier cloth as a pot, wrapped around the root bll. this works as a root pruning container, keeping the roots from growing too long and circleing the inside of the pot.

How long do you expect to hold the tree before replanting it in the ground? If it will just be a few days, wraping the root ball in burlap would be a good plan. Do keep it watered until planting.
 
Jane Marr
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Joylynn Hardesty wrote:I was once told to dig up 10 times the diameter of the trunk. So in your example, dig up  20 inches diameter.

Except when trying to move pecan trees, doing this has always been successful for me. Nut trees have very deep tap roots, even at a young age. Any attempts now are reseverved for under 6 inches in height. I rarely notice them at that height though. I also just move the ones I see, and leave them to chance... I have not monitored them after my first three apparant successes. Three is enough for my space.

Back to mulberries... I've read the roots of mulberry trees stay in the top 24 inches of soil. So, 20x20x24. That is going to be a heavy root ball. I hope you can find a pot that size... Alternately, some folk use weed barrier cloth as a pot, wrapped around the root bll. this works as a root pruning container, keeping the roots from growing too long and circleing the inside of the pot.

How long do you expect to hold the tree before replanting it in the ground? If it will just be a few days, wraping the root ball in burlap would be a good plan. Do keep it watered until planting.



That's good to know about the nut trees, if I ever want to relocate some wild ones I'll aim for young saplings, thank you! :)

Digging 2 feet down is definitely going to be work and it will be heavy, but if this method is as successful as you say, then I'm down for the challenge!

I'm not entirely sure when we'll be able to transplant it, as we were wanting to transport it to a new plot entirely, hopefully within the next 2 weeks. We did find a 30" diameter pot to have it in for the time being. Will that be adequate? Would wrapping still be a good idea?
 
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Mulberries grow very fast.  If the goal is to have a productive mulberry tree on your property in a couple years, you might want to look around that tree and see if there are smaller ones nearby that would be easier to successfully transplant.  Even though they will start out smaller, they will recover faster from the transplant than a larger tree.

 
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I usually dig at the drip line.  Dig as deep as the tree roots or soil allows.  If I have to dig closer to the trunk, I would prune the branches back and make cuttings from it.

Make the new hole twice the width as the rootball and add nice soil mixed with what was in the hole.
 
Joylynn Hardesty
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Jane Marr wrote:

I'm not entirely sure when we'll be able to transplant it, as we were wanting to transport it to a new plot entirely, hopefully within the next 2 weeks. We did find a 30" diameter pot to have it in for the time being. Will that be adequate? Would wrapping still be a good idea?



I think the pot will be sufficient.

Pruning the branches is a good idea. You will lose some roots of course, from digging it up. Now you have fewer roots to feed the same amount of foliage. The tree will suffer damage. It will look unhappy. Make sure the root ball does not dry out. If possible, try to keep the tree in at least partial shade until you plant it in the ground again.

Once in its new home in the ground, water it deeply once a week, maybe for a month? We have regular rains here during summer. if you don't there, you may need to continue watering for the first summer.  
 
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Generally speaking, spring and fall are the best times to transplant.

If you're working on a limited time frame, just dig it up!

Mulberries are pretty resilient plants and this is how we learn!

If you have a place to plant it, just dig it up and try to keep soil intact around the roots during transport.

Plant high and keep it well watered during the summer.  Good luck!

You got this!

 
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From what I've read, mulberry grows incredibly well from cuttings. If you're not able to dig enough out, another option would be to take as many branches and live twigs as you can get from it, and plant those as cuttings.
 
Rob Kaiser
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Ellendra Nauriel wrote:From what I've read, mulberry grows incredibly well from cuttings. If you're not able to dig enough out, another option would be to take as many branches and live twigs as you can get from it, and plant those as cuttings.



Try both?
 
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