Pruning below mulberry tree collars

Asked January 23, 2017, 9:03 AM EST

Hi-I live in Anne Arundel county and have two mulberry trees that I pollard back to the collars (knuckles or calluses) each year. I'd like to cut below the collars on a couple of the taller main branches that are straight up from the center of the tree, as it is a little high to get up there and trim back to the collar each year (although I do so). If I cut maybe 8 or so inches below the knuckle, would another knuckle then form there? I'm hoping for a little thicker growth in the center of the tree that way. Also, we used to use something like pruning seal or paint back in the fifties and sixties when we pruned, but I see that, even though those products are still being sold, some research found that they don't work very well, as the tree cannot heal itself. What is your opinion?

Anne Arundel County Maryland

3 Responses

You should be able to cut back below the knuckle and, in essence, initiate a new "knuckle." Repeated pruning will build up the callus.

You are correct about the pruning sealer. Research showed that it actually slowed down the and interfered with the tree's ability to heal itself. We do not recommend using pruning 'paint.'


Thanks very much! I appreciate the quick response, and the answer was exactly what I was hoping for.