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Planting Mulberry hedge using truncheon method

 
Zach Muller
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Location: NE Oklahoma zone 7a
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Hello fellow tree propagators. I have been forming plans to move all my plants and trees from their current location to a new home site. This means i will have quite a task moving so many trees ranging from 8 feet high down to saplings and bushes.
Among the trees are 3-4 mulberry coppices that are currently maturing fruit. I was thinking i would just prune the branches all back to about 1' and dig up the root ball to move them. By that time i bet the fruit will be mature and maybe fallen off. Will this be bad timing?

Then i started thinking about eventually having a mulberry hedge and i came across truncheons. Basically its a name for something i have heard about many times. Just a relatively large cutting that you stick in the ground to root. Does anyone have experience doing this with mulberry or something similar?

Once i trim the coppices can i just cut the side branches off and stick them in the ground to root? Should i apply any rooting hormone or does that even matter? I know these trees are hardy as can be, i just have not grown one from this method.


Rooting a Truncheon:
"Truncheons are branches, about as thick as a human arm that we can grow into new plants. The branches are cut at about 170-180 cm long. Cut the top of the branch at a slant,
which prevents water from rotting the truncheon. Before planting the truncheon, itshould first be kept under shade for a few days to develop a hard layer over the cut end.
If the cut end is not covered with this hard layer, the truncheon may not root.
Thetruncheon should be planted into a narrow hole about 60 cm deep. The best time for this method is the end of the dormant season when the plant still grows slowly. This
method can be used with most trees which drip a white sap when they are cut."



Anyone have details on the hard layer mentioned?

 
Julia Franke
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Location: Berks County, PA
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I have VERY limited experience with rooting a cutting. By very limited, I mean I've done it once, but it was successful.

Here's what I did:
I cut the branch, it was basically just a stick at that point. I buried the fat end of the stick so that some leaves were buried and a leaf but or two were out of the ground. No rooting hormone, I don't even think I exposed any cambium. I then kept it watered. As in, when I remembered. So maybe once a week. But it was spring and we got a lot of water.

The soil was rocky and poor, BUT the tree overwintered and is started to bud out now. So I'm a happy camper.

As you can see, I have limited experience, but I believe mulberry is one of the easiest trees to propagate. At least that's what I've heard.

Good Luck! Let me know how it goes!
 
Zach Muller
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Location: NE Oklahoma zone 7a
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Thanks julia. I have not had much time for research on this but still plan to attempt it. I'll post pics.
 
Bryant RedHawk
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hau,Zach, Rooting cuttings of mulberry can be done several ways, the truncheon method is probably the least successful of these methods for this tree/bush.

The easiest method for getting good rooted cuttings is ground layering, bend a branch to the ground, using two staples (horseshoe shaped heavy wires)
make some narrow scrapes on the stem that touches the ground, just through the bark so the cambium layer is exposed (make several of these going around the stem so you will get even root formation)
next cover this area of stem with soil and water with a vitamin B-12 solution. water this soil patch every other day for two weeks with the solution. Then simply water when the soil is drying after that.
Mulberry will take around two months to form a good root system, when the roots are well developed simply cut the branch so you get the roots and stem above them and plant in a container for moving.

You can also Air layer or you can use a cutting and rooting hormones. If you are going to use cuttings you will need a jar to cover.

Mulberries take a while to root, so the best method is the first one or Air layering. cuttings can work but they will take just as long and you have to have a bell (large enough glass jar to hold the whole cutting).
 
Zach Muller
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Location: NE Oklahoma zone 7a
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Thank you for the information Bryant. I will probably change my strategy based on what you have said and the shear amount of work i am looking at with transplanting all these trees. Do you have any suggestions about pruning before transplanting? I am thinking about just taking some of the newest growth off and then digging out as much roots as possible. What would you do ?
 
Bryant RedHawk
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The easiest method is to use commercial gardening pots (the black ones found at nurseries) I fill these with a potting mix (no fertilizer type) then bend a new growth branch into a pot. I use wood stakes, mine are hickory branches (debarked, new growth) with a fork that faces down to hold the rooting branch under the potting mix. before I put the rooting branch down I do 4 small scrapes at the point on the branch I want roots to form, then I put the branch in place and use the wood stake/staple to hold it while I put some more mix to cover to a depth of approximately 2 inches. I then water with a B-12 tablet dissolved in two quarts of water. I make sure the mix is wet and I then use a clear plastic to make a cloche over the branch. I water with the same 2 quarts for three waterings (once a week with the cloche in place) at which point I switch to collected rain water. after 2 months they usually are ready to be separated from the mother plant and straightened up in their pot. I container grow them for a year before planting out to a permanent home.
 
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