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Dwarf mulberry - pruning question

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Db starts with ...
My dwarf black mulberry (from Daleys) is currently growing in pot since last 2 months. It has already tripled its size (when I bought it was 2 ft high, now its 6 ft above soil) but it has only one main stem and no side branches at all... It also gave me 5 fruits (bit tart but I think taste will improve over time). Growth is now slow being winter... I'm thinking to prune it to promote more side branches (?) and remove top half so that it shoots multiple side branches... Being semi-deciduous, should I wait until spring arrives or is it ok to cut it now n hope for size growth?
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Db
Brisbane
18th May 2012 1:32pm
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glennis says...
Wait until after it fruits next and then cut it back by a third .
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glennis
brisbane
22nd May 2012 12:24pm
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Db says...
Well, if I wait until it fruits next time then it means tree will keep growing up n up in coming spring without any side branches...

I'm thinking to prune it in this late winter so that it will immediately shoot new side branches in spring.. any thoughts on this? :)
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Db
Brisbane
22nd May 2012 1:04pm
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glennis says...
Ok , if you cut it back by half and it has no leaves then you have a stick . What if it dies . I think the main problem is that it didnt have multiple stems when you bought it .
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glennis
brisbane
22nd May 2012 1:17pm
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Db says...
Thanks for reply.. Tree has leaves right from almost soil surface level so even if I cut half or so it will still have lots of leaves so that's not a problem.. Apart from main stem, it does have 3 tiny side branches with just 3-4 leaves on each (last fruits were on this side branch rather than on main stem) but tip has been dried out when cooler nights arrives here but main stem is still growing.. But u r right, tree had only main stem when I bought it, I didn't thought it will be an issue..

So considering this, should I wait until spring arrives or is it ok to prune is now to promote side growth? I think pruning just before spring will be better, any thoughts?
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Db
Brisbane
22nd May 2012 1:27pm
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Original Post was last edited: 22nd May 2012 1:29pm
glennis says...
If it were me i would cut it back just above the tiny side branches . I would do this just before spring as you suggest . Dont go sayin but glennis told me to do it if it dies .
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glennis
brisbane
22nd May 2012 1:41pm
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VF says...
I think Glennis is right in saying to cut top third off, but I would do it when plant is in a more dormant state (ie late July/early August). Mulberries respond well to pruning - if you prune now it may try to shoot but the cold to come may injure new growth. Leaving it later you would expect it to grow well in the warming weather, and then after it fruits you again give it a good prune - you may even get a 2nd crop then. Saying all that, Mulberries are pretty forgiving - at my previous property (1hr SW of Brisbane), my horse took a shine to 'pruning' my Mulberries (one black, one white) and they always grew back with a vengance and fruited at least twice a year. Keep the water up though for best growth after coming out of dormancy.
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VF
Wongawallan
22nd May 2012 1:48pm
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Db says...
Don't worry Glennis, I won't say anything like that if pruning doesn't help.. Mulberry is hardy plant so I don't think it can die due to pruning..
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Db
Brisbane
22nd May 2012 1:53pm
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Db says...
Thanks VF.. So I'll prune it in late winter... Hopefully it will shoot more side branches.. Lets see how it goes..
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Db
Brisbane
22nd May 2012 1:56pm
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growandtell says...
If you prune in Winter, the tree should have less milky sap oozing from the cut. After clipping the main trunk, you may be able to cut it into lengths and pot each one in Spring to hopefully get them to root and thus start more plants. Even if your plant is grafted, it is possible that the trunk would be OK growing on it's own roots. Another idea would be to set up an air layering arrangement a foot or so above the low branches. After a couple months of Spring growth you can see if roots are forming under the 'arrangement'. Once roots form, you can clip off the new plant and let the low branches continue to grow up for a multiple trunk shape.
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growandtell
Texas
23rd May 2012 12:48pm
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Db says...
Thanks Growandtell.. Yes I'm planning to propagate using cuttings once I prune it (not sure if I really want another tree as I don't have space but I can gift it to friends)... I never tried air layering before so not sure if I can do it successfully.. This tree grows fast (at least mine), so if cuttings roots then it will also hopefully grow fast... Mine looks like cutting grown, not grafted (unless its T-budding graft like citrus)..
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Db
Brisbane
23rd May 2012 1:06pm
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Original Post was last edited: 23rd May 2012 1:08pm
Markmelb says...
have a white shatoot that didnt have a huge first crop and has put out alot of growth - only a couple mulberrys left -
Q1 - when or how long after i finish crop should I wait before pruning back 50% of the new current growth -
Q2 - is it better as in summer pruning apples and plums etc to prune behind a bud rather than in front???
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Markmelb
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19th November 2014 2:52pm
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sternus1 says...
How old is it? they drop fruit from between 2-3 years before reaching the right hormonal stage for bearing.
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sternus1
Australia
19th November 2014 3:22pm
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Markmelb says...
Its not a Dwarf - A white shatoot Standard - didnt want to start a new thread - actually is only in its second summer but held fruit ok after planting - just want to maintain size as new growth already 1mt long - wanting to know ideal time to prune and get a possible second crop :)
My Dwarf red same age still holding 3 fruit green - had a few on it after recieving last Xmas - potting up into a 430mm and set a crop that hardly fell so got a good tast and i like better than white :)
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Markmelb
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19th November 2014 4:31pm
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sternus1 says...
yeah, the red is better than the white imo too. This seems to be par for the course with Mulberry. I'm not sure the red shatoot will produce a true second crop the way the standard does when pruned back. I've noticed that pruning them back does seem to force them to considerably expand their root system, moreso than other species.
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sternus1
Australia
19th November 2014 4:53pm
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Markmelb says...
Thanks Sternus - dont want to prune Dwarf red anyway as soooo slow and need size in this little guy as want to graft next winter on a friends mulberry just for fun - this years failed - Have you ever tried using the big Mulb leaves for Greek Dolmades - they work really well after sreaming for 30mins better than grape leaves :)
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Markmelb
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19th November 2014 6:11pm
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sternus1 says...
Haven't tried that Mark, in fact i didn't even know they were edible.

only thing I've ever used them for was food for silk worms as a kid. You know, i have not seen a silkworm around on any mulberry since I was a child. I wonder what happened to them?
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sternus1
Australia
19th November 2014 6:21pm
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Markmelb says...
yes me too - kids used to bring at primary - always wanted a mulberry just to see the silkworms or even those big fat colourful emperor gum tree caterpillers
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Markmelb
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19th November 2014 6:28pm
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Original Post was last edited: 19th November 2014 6:27pm

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