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Propagating a mulberry tree

 
Sk Patel
Posts: 8
Location: Austin, Texas (Zone 8b)
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We've got a mature mulberry tree in our front yard that is obviously doing very well in our local environment/conditions. Its really tall, and gives tons of fruit.

I'd love to propagate it with cuttings or grafts or whatever, but a lot of what I've read on the web talks about people's failures in making it work. Ours has black fruit, which is apparently even harder to get going.

Has anyone here been successful with growing mulberry trees from cuttings or grafts? If so, how did you go about doing it?
 
Becky Proske
Posts: 43
Location: Wisconsin, USA (zone 4b)
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food preservation tiny house trees wofati
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I've had good luck with mulberries. I took cuttings in early summer from new growth and rooted them in water. I used young shoots that were near a foot in length. Trim the leaves from the lower half to two thirds of the stem. New roots are likely to sprout from the leaf nodes so take care not to damage the stem there. Submerged the stems in water up to the leaves. Keep in a shaded or sheltered spot with diffused light. It can take a month for mulberries to root in this way. Check the water level periodically and start looking for root growth in a couple of weeks.
 
Casie Becker
pollinator
Posts: 703
Location: Just northwest of Austin, TX
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forest garden urban
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The best mulberry tree I've seen was a huge one with black fruit in Jonestown. That's on the shore of Travis Lake, if you're not familiar with the town. Because of my experience with that tree, I have a spot chosen in my yard where I will plant a mulberry tree.

If you are successful in rooting yours, would you be interested in selling one of the cuttings?

 
Sk Patel
Posts: 8
Location: Austin, Texas (Zone 8b)
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Thanks Becky!! Once you have root growth, do you do anything special when planting out the rooted cuttings?

Casie: If it works out, you can have one for free. I'll try rooting more than I need, and hopefully there will be some extras that "make it."
 
Dillon Nichols
pollinator
Posts: 596
Location: Victoria BC
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I've had good luck with morus nigra cuttings; hardwood, done just as the plant leaves dormancy; careful, it bleeds sap like mad, but likely not a big deal on a large tree. Stuck in moist vermiculite, kept in the shade.

I've had no luck at all with alba/rubra or illinois everbearing which is a hybrid thereof.

I intend to try summer cuttings of all the sorts I can access, using a misting propagation setup... as soon as I get one built. Hopefully that provides broader success.


Keep in mind that fruit color is not the same as species; ie, a black fruited mulberry is not necessarily morus nigra, etc...
 
Becky Proske
Posts: 43
Location: Wisconsin, USA (zone 4b)
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food preservation tiny house trees wofati
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Sk Patel wrote:Once you have root growth, do you do anything special when planting out the rooted cuttings?


Once I saw roots on the stems I planted them into pots with good soil that remained light and loose but held moisture well (like a seed starting mix). I waited until the roots were several inches in length before I did this. The mobility of pots allowed me to keep the cuttings out of direct sun. The roots will need to adapted to the soil. I imagine that it's possible to transplant the rooted cuttings directly into the ground, so long as they receive plenty of water afterwards. Water might be need on a daily basis in this situation depending on environmental variables. Some protection from full sun (and wind) would also be beneficial for the cuttings to get rooted in their desired location. Personally, I recommend transferring them to pots with soil (especially if it's just a small quantity of cuttings). Once the stems show new growth, they are ready to be transplanted to their permanent homes.

There are many ways to root plants by stem cuttings. Youtube is where I originally looked for some tips when I first thought about propagating mulberries. Here are a couple vids that I think offer some good visuals on preparing the stems.



 
David Livingston
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Location: Anjou ,France
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I have recently .... Er .... " found " some mulberry trees growing six in a village square near me and one in a municipal camp site . I also ... Amazingly found .... Some small cuttings . Unfortunately difficult to find larger cuttings as people were watching me
I have planted them in very wet soil with half a leaf each So crossed fingers
How can I tell if they are black or white trees?
David
 
I agree. Here's the link: https://richsoil.com/wood-heat.jsp
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