Trimming Mulberry tree

Asked September 11, 2018, 3:51 PM EDT

I have a Mulberry tree that is about 20’ tall and I love making jam from the fruit on in. Would it make sense to trim the tree down so more of the berries would be able to be picked. If I do a severe pruning to the main branches, when would be the best time of year. Clarence Holm Ormsby, Mn

Martin County Minnesota

1 Response

This one stumped me, so I searched a reliable source: Stark Brothers Nursery. There I found a series of guidelines to growing and caring for mulberry including pruning: https://www.starkbros.com/growing-guide/how-to-grow/fruit-trees/mulberry-trees/pruning

Being that the mulberry is a tree and not a shrub, I would not recommend a severe pruning as you state nor would I top the tree. A severe pruning on a tree can be detrimental to tree health and could take many years for the tree to produce again. Topping the tree - removing the top branches to bring production downward - can create water sprouts and areas where water can penetrate and promote rotting of the branches. To increase production, remove branches to increase light and airflow to other branches. Consider feeding the tree with a fruit tree fertilizer product.