How to Prune Weeping Mulberry Trees
The weeping mulberry is a deciduous tree that can be found all over North America and Asia. Deciduous means that the tree will die out and remain dormant during the winter and then put out again in the spring. Weeping mulberry trees were once grown to produce silk worms and fruit, but now are ornamental. The limbs of the tree grow up and out and then cascade to the ground in a weeping pattern, which makes it an excellent shade tree.
Remove all of the dead branches when you start pruning. Most of the branches will be growing in a downward motion. Prune off any branches that are growing differently and give the tree and odd shape. You can also prune any branches that are crossing other branches and preventing them from growing or lying correctly.
Think about your tree's natural shape. Keep this in mind as you begin trimming branches. Pruning will enhance the look of your tree, keep out pests and stimulate new growth. Trees will also become stronger as they are pruned because it encourages the healthy limbs to grow longer and stronger. Stronger limbs will protect your mulberry from storm damage.
Remove any branches that have a sharp V-shaped union. The branches join together at acute angles and are susceptible to breaking at the point where the branches meet. Keep the branches that have a U-shaped union. The limbs join together in a rounded manner that produces a thick, strong branch.
Locate the thick spot that runs from the underside of the branch (this is called the branch collar) and then locate the branch ridge that is located on top of the branch where it joins the tree and runs parallel with the growth of the branch. Prune your limbs so that the cut is above both of these. There will be a few inches of the branch remaining. If you are pruning away the tops of the tree and it is very large, you will make a deeper cut by using a chainsaw. Cut a notch on one side of the limb and then cut the limb straight across, just above the notch. Make a final cut straight across at the notch.
Prune the weeping mulberry severely back to its main branches in the winter or late fall. This will encourage new and stronger growth and will help the tree to achieve the best shape. You will have to prune the tree again in the spring to reshape the tree.