How to Prune Red Mulberry

Mulberry berries image by commons/wikimedia


Mulberry trees are as easy to prune as they are to care for. In fact, over pruning can lead to the tree's death or shorten its already short lifespan. Compared to other fruit trees, mulberries are short-lived, averaging a lifespan of approximately 25 years. Their life may not be that long, but healthy mulberry trees will consistently supply you with a harvest of juicy berries year after year. The best thing you can do for your mulberry tree is to not be overaggressive in pruning it.

Step 1

Wait until winter to prune the mulberry tree. These trees are deciduous and will drop their leaves during the fall and go dormant. It is easier to trim the tree because you can see exactly where you will be making the cut.

Step 2

Cut any low hanging branches or ones that are poorly located any time of year. These would be branches that also interfere with powerlines, structures or roofs. If cutting a branch entirely off, leave a one-inch branch stub attached to the trunk. Cutting the branch flesh to the trunk opens the wound up for diseases.

Step 3

Trim only the upper third from the live crown of the mulberry tree. Cutting back any further will weaken the tree and shorten its life. Cutting the tree totally back is an old practice of pruning that is no longer adhered to due to the damage it causes to the tree.

Step 4

Cut each branch back by one-third, making your cut right above the branch eye. Several new shoots will grow from the eye section. Always make your cut at a downward angle.

Things You'll Need

  • Pruning shears


  • Mulberry Tree Pruning
  • Arboriculture: Pruning
Keywords: healthy mulberry trees, mulberry trees, mulberry trees, cutting the tree

About this Author

Joyce Starr is a professional writer from Florida and owns a landscaping company and garden center. She has published articles about camping in Florida, lawn care and gardening and writes for a local gardening newsletter. She shares her love and knowledge of the outdoors and nature through her writing.

Photo by: commons/wikimedia