Kill a mulberry tree

Asked April 2, 2019, 10:10 AM EDT

Hi. I am trying to get rid of a weed mulberry tree. Last time I cut it down, it just grew back. How do I kill it? I also have one that is really tall, is there any way to slow its growth or keep parts that I cut off to not just grow new branches? Thanks!

Wayne County Michigan

1 Response

The surefire way of getting rid of a tree is to dig it up, but this is obviously a lot of work. Roundup can be used to kill the tree, but the late summer / fall is the best time to do this. Cut the limbs and spray or dab the concentrated Roundup on the cut surfaces. There is a concentrated Roundup Tree Stump and Root Killer that is especially made for this. You may have to do this over 2 years because mulberry has multiple rooting points.

To slow growth of the mulberry, prune in the summer rather than the spring, or do both spring and summer pruning. Summer pruning reduces the vigor of the tree.

Prune by removing entire limbs back to the point of attachment, instead of cutting limbs in half. If you cut a limb in half, you quite often get several new limbs.

See the attached picture on tips on how to reduce the height of a tree without triggering a vigorous regrowth. Cut to a strong, upright side limb. We call the side limb a "boss" limb because it suppresses the regrowth response in the cut zone. If you "flattop" a tree, you get regrowth because there are no boss limbs to maintain control.