How to Cut a Mulberry Tree


There are several tree species known as mulberry in the United States. Of these, the Red Mulberry is the native species. White mulberry is an introduced species that escaped cultivation. In many areas, white mulberry has been planted as a screening plant. Homeowners with unwanted mulberries growing in their yard must often resort to cutting them down to eliminate them. Cut down small trees at the base with a hand saw or sturdy branch loppers. But trees larger than a few inches in diameter must be removed with a chain saw or axe.

Step 1

Examine a mulberry tree for any safety hazards that would make it difficult for an amateur to cut down. Hazards include dead or low-hanging branches, excessive leaning or the presence of power lines. If these factors exist, call a tree specialist to remove the tree.

Step 2

Determine by the shape of the tree, the direction of the wind and the direction the tree will fall. Red mulberry trees have a short trunk and wide, spreading limbs. White mulberries have a very short, thick trunk and limbs that fork in such a way that they resemble a broom. For this reason, the limbs are often called "witches brooms."

Step 3

Remove any objects from the area that the tree may fall onto, including any parked cars.

Step 4

Plan an escape route that you will take to move away from the tree as it falls. You should be well away from the tree in case the trunk bounces and to avoid "widowmakers," which is falling debris that may injure anyone present.

Step 5

Clear away any debris from around the base of the tree as well as the escape path so you can work without fear of tripping.

Step 6

Saw a wedge-shaped cut, known as an undercut, into the base of the tree that opens in the direction the mulberry tree will fall. The wedge should open at a 45-degree angle and the point should only extend 1/3 of the way through the trunk. Since mulberry heart wood is very durable, use a chain saw to cut down the tree. Shut down the saw periodically to clean out debris and avoid having the chain kick back on you.

Step 7

Make a narrow cut on the opposite side of the trunk from the undercut. This cut, known as a back cut, should be slightly higher than the point of the undercut. It should extend 2/3 of the way through the tree and should stop just before it reaches the undercut. Step away from the tree as it begins to fall.

Step 8

Wait several minutes to return to the tree to allow the debris to fall and settle.

Tips and Warnings

  • Always wear safety gear such as a hard hat, long sleeves and long pants, close-toed shoes, a hard hat and safety goggles when cutting down a tree. Never attempt to use a chain saw in a position higher than your shoulders. Doing so can cause you to lose control of the saw.

Things You'll Need

  • Chain saw


  • Ohio State University Extension: Ohio Trees: Mulberry
  • Purdue University: Red and White Mulberry in Indiana
  • University of Missouri Extension: Felling, Bucking and Limbing Trees

Who Can Help

  • LSU AG Center: Stump Removal from Home Grounds
Keywords: removing mulberry trees, cutting down mulberrys, tree removal

About this Author

Tracy S. Morris has been a freelance writer since 2000. She has published two novels and numerous online articles. Her work has appeared in national magazines and newspapers, including "Ferrets," "CatFancy," "Lexington Herald Leader" and "The Tulsa World."