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How to Kill a Mulberry Tree

By Tracy Morris ; Updated July 21, 2017

Mulberry is a species of tree with cultivars that are native to both North America and Asia. The trees produce sweet purple berries that can stain anything they touch. In areas where mulberry owners can't harvest the plants, the berries may create unexpected stains. In addition, berries that are spread from seed in bird droppings can create mulberry sprouts in unwanted areas. If you cut down a mulberry tree, you may still have to contend with shoots from the roots for years. Killing a mulberry tree through stem girdling will destroy the roots and prevent shoots from popping up later.

Cut a ring into the tree’s trunk that encircles the tree completely, using an axe. On mulberry trees less than 4 inches in diameter, this cut should be ½ inch deep and ½ inch wide. On larger mulberry trees, the cut should be 1 ½ inches wide and 1 ½ inches deep into the tree. The mulberry bark should be fully severed to completely interrupt the tree’s vascular system.

Make a second girdling cut 2 inches up the tree from the first cut.

Spray the trunk of the tree with an herbicide that contains 2,4-D.

Observe the tree to determine when it has died. When the wood is gray and the canopy no longer produces leaves, the tree is dead and is safe to remove.


About the Author


Tracy Morris has been a freelance writer since 2000. She has published novels and numerous online articles. Her work has appeared in national magazines and newspapers including "Ferrets," "CatFancy," "Lexington Herald Leader" and "The Tulsa World." She holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the University of Arkansas.