How to Prune a Mulberry Tree

by Alex Kountry
Updated on

Pruning a mulberry tree is a necessary task that helps to ensure the tree’s health and vitality. Read on to learn how to properly prune your mulberry tree.

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Mulberry trees are a type of fast-growing fruit tree that can produce an abundance of fruit in a relatively short amount of time. While these trees are easy to grow and generally require little maintenance, they will need to be pruned on a regular basis to ensure that they remain healthy and productive.

Pruning a mulberry tree is not difficult, but it is important to do it correctly in order to avoid damaging the tree. With a little care and attention, you can keep your mulberry tree healthy and fruitful for many years.

What You’ll Need

-Pruning saw
-Pruning shears
-Mulberry tree

How to Prune a Mulberry Tree

Proper pruning is essential to the health and vigor of your mulberry tree. Pruning also allows you to shape the tree to your desired appearance. In this article, we’ll show you how to prune a mulberry tree.

Step One: Wait for the Right Time of Year

Late winter or early spring is the best time to prune a mulberry tree. You want to prune before the tree begins to bud, so it can heal quickly and evenly.

Step Two: Assess the Tree’s Structure

Once you’ve removed any dead, diseased, or overcrowded branches, take a step back and look at the overall structure of the tree. You’ll want to make sure that the remaining branches are evenly spaced and well balanced. If there are any large gaps in the canopy, you may need to remove additional branches to even things out.

It’s also important to ensure that the tree has a strong central leader. This is the main vertical trunk of the tree that should be taller than all of the other branches. If there is more than one central leader, you’ll need to choose the strongest one and remove the others.

Once you’ve assessed the tree’s structure, you can start pruning back the remaining branches.

Step Three: Remove Any Dead, Damaged, or Diseased Wood

prune away any dead, damaged, or diseased wood. These can be identified by their brown or black coloration, as well as any sign of decay. If you are unsure whether a branch is still alive, scrape away a small section of bark with your knife to check for green underneath. Once you have removed all of the dead wood, you can move on to the next step.

Step Four: Cut Back Any Rubbing or Crossing Branches

Mulberry trees are generally low-maintenance, but they will benefit from occasional pruning to remove dead or dying branches and to encourage new growth. You should prune your mulberry tree every one to three years, depending on its age and health.

To prune a mulberry tree, start by cutting away any dead or dying branches with a pair of pruning shears. Then, cut back any rubbing or crossing branches so that they are no longer touching. Finally, trim back any branches that are growing outside of the desired shape of the tree.

Step Five: Prune to Promote Air Circulation and Light Penetration

good air circulation and light penetration into the canopy of the tree are essential for the health of the mulberry tree. Prune out dead, diseased or damaged wood and any crossing or rubbing branches. Cut back suckers that are growing from the roots and water sprouts (vertical shoots) that are growing from the trunk or branches. These sprouts will compete with the main scaffold branches for nutrients and sunlight and should be removed.

Step Six: Remove Suckers and Water Sprouts

Be sure to remove all suckers and water sprouts. These are shoots that sprout from the main trunk or from older branches. Suckers grow rapidly and if left unchecked, will sap the tree’s energy, causing it to produce fewer mulberries. Water sprouts are also rapid growers, but they typically produce smaller fruit than normal.


Pruning a mulberry tree is best done in late winter or early spring, before the tree breaks dormancy and begins to produce new growth. The goal is to remove any diseased, damaged, or dead wood, as well as any crossing or rubbing branches. You should also thin out the canopy to allow more light and air to reach the interior of the tree. Finally, you can shorten branches that are too long or growing in an undesirable direction. With regular pruning, you can keep your mulberry tree healthy and encourage it to produce an abundance of fruit.

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About the author

Alex Kountry

Alex Kountry is the founder of HayFarmGuy and has been a backyard farmer for over 10 years. Since then he has decided to write helpful articles that will help you become a better backyard farmer and know what to do. He also loves to play tennis and read books


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