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Pollarding and propagating mulberries

Pollarding a young mulberry tree

Remember how I wrote about my plans to pollard the mulberry?  I kept putting it off because I was scared, but eventually I talked myself into lopping the top off the current tree.

Taking hardwood cuttings

If I'd figured out my pruning plan a year ago, I could have shaped the tree then and not lost so much growth, but it's not really a loss.  I ended up with a big handful of hardwood cuttings to experiment with.

I mailed a third of them off to a reader who wants to try grafting Illinois everbearing mulberries onto the weedy, seedling mulberries he has growing in his yard.  I'm extremely curious to hear how his experiments turn out since my mom has similar weed mulberries around --- I could end up with lots of mulberries if I grafted onto her weeds.

Rooting hormone for cuttings

I let the rest of my cuttings suck up willow rooting hormone overnight, then tossed half into a pot and half directly into a nursery bed.  Hopefully I'll learn which propagation method works best and will soon have lots of everbearing mulberries to play with in my pastures.

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Rooting IE seems harder than for most mulberries : http://www.savingourseeds.org/pdf/mulberry_propagation.pdf

Hope the willow water will help, i'll read results with great interest, as i plan to graft one next spring.

To extend the season, i've read that black mulberries ripen later than the others,

Here (France) mulberries (usually non fruiting cultivar) are pollarded to nice forms. I plan to coppice some to easily harvest berries (i love them), and to acquire some dwarf cultivars

Comment by Nicolas M. in the wee hours of Thursday night, February 22nd, 2013

Thanks for the source for rooting Illinois Everbearing! We're planning on trying softwood cuttings this year too, and I wonder if part of the author's problem with getting them to root was taking the cuttings at the end of July. The Reference Manual of Woody Plant Propagation recommends June for mulberry softwood cuttings and says that, in general, its best to take softwood cuttings at the beginning of the possible period rather than at the end.

I'll be interested to hear how your grafting goes! What are you planning to graft onto?

We're adding a couple more mulberry varieties this year, and I've got my eye on a very prolific bearer (no idea what variety) to graft onto something once I find some free rootstocks.

Comment by anna mid-morning Tuesday, February 26th, 2013

I've acuiqred pakistan and townsend mulberries. This year i got some grafts of Oscar whicn i've grafted on mulberries seedlings. Next year i plan to graft Geraldi dwarf, IE and paradis if i can find grafts. I would like to use gerarldi as intergraft to dwarf other mulberries cultivars. But it is very difficult to find in europe.

Comment by Nicolas M. in the wee hours of Tuesday night, March 13th, 2013

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