How To Fertilizer, Prune & Water A Red Mulberry

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This article provides tips for planting a red mulberry tree
by Brett · Zone 5A · -20° to -15° F to Zone 9B · 25° to 30° F · Planting · 0 Comments · November 01, 2015 · 8,182 views

Care Tips for a Red Mulberry Tree


Mulberry trees are fast growing, vigorous trees that require little fertilization. I recommend an annual application in spring of a fertilizer such a well-balanced shrub & tree fertilizer. Alternatively, if you plan to eat the fruit from the tree, you can fertilize with a mild organic fertilizer twice a year: once in late winter and again in mid-summer.


Mulberry trees are as easy to prune as they are to care for. Keep in mind that over pruning can lead to the tree's death or shorten its lifespan.

Wait until winter to prune your mulberry tree. When pruning, first cut off any low hanging branches. When removing an entire branch leave a one-inch branch stub attached to the trunk. Cutting the branch flesh to the trunk opens the wound up for diseases.

If you want to form a more densely branched tree, cut each upper branch in the canopy back by one-third, making your cut right above an outward facing branch bud. A new shoot or more will emerge from this bud. Always make your cuts at a downward angle.


Because they do not like constantly soggy or wet soil, avoid overwatering Red Mulberry or planting them in a poorly drained soil that stays constantly soggy or wet. Well-drained soil is a must!

TIP: When watering with an automated irrigation system it's best to set your timer to water during the early morning hours and not in the late evening or at night, which can lead to the onset of fungus and other foliar diseases. During the first few weeks after planting, check soil moisture often and adjust irrigation time if necessary to keep the soil moist, not wet.

At Planting Time - Immediately after planting, deep soak the planting area to a depth of 12" or more. Make sure to water the root ball and the surrounding soil. For an extra boost, you can water your newly planted Red Mulberry with a solution of Root Stimulator, which stimulates early root formation and stronger root development. Root Stimulator reduces plant shock and promotes greener, more vigorous plants.

During First Active Growth Season - In average garden soil you should not have to water your newly planted Red Mulberry every day. More often than not, this causes soggy soil conditions that can lead to root rot and other harmful plant diseases. In the absence of sufficient rainfall, water only as needed to keep the rootball and surrounding soil damp to moist. Keep in mind that deep soaking less frequently is much better than splashing just a little water on the plants every day. Red Mulberry planted during the cool season (late fall through winter), when the plant is not growing and moisture is not evaporating from the soil as quickly, will require much less water.

Thereafter - When established, Red Mulberry are quite drought tolerant. That being said, if you see new leaves wilting, or tips of stems bending over during a drought, this could be a sign that your tree could use a good deep soaking.

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