Fruitless Mulberry Tree

turtlesteve

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I never realized mulberry trees were hard to come by. I am working to establish both red and white mulberry trees that just happened to sprout in my yard, plus I have a larger non-fruiting weeping mulberry that came with the house.

To illustrate how tough they are, the weeping mulberry was about 7” thick at the base and maybe 12 feet tall. The previous homeowner planted it on top of the septic leach field so it had to go. I could not really dig up the root ball, so I figured I’d gently pull it out with a 20-ton tow strap. Well it didn’t pull out, it just broke off every root and left me with a pole with branches on top. So, I cut off the branches and planted the bare pole. It lived and is now rooted again in a new location.

I can probably root some cuttings if folks are interested.
 

Tom

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Could you please educate me about the fruitless mulberry tree and it's value to tortoises. I am new to tortoise ownership and hungry for info and education. thanks
The leaves of the mulberry tree are excellent tortoise food. Very high in fiber and calcium, plus the tortoises love them, which is always nice. I feed them as a stand alone meal about once a week between now and fall when they drop their leaves, or I mix in a few leaves with other stuff several times a week. When neighbors prune their trees, they throw whole piles of branches into my pens. These trees grow very fast and provide tons of leaves.

If using the fruitless variety, they are great to plant inside a large tortoise enclosure. In addition to dropping great tortoise food, they provide heavy shade in the summer heat, and drop all their leaves to allow maximum sunshine to reach the tortoises in the cooler winters.

I try to avoid grocery store foods as much as possible. Mulberry leaves are one alternative that help with that.
 

Tom

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I never realized mulberry trees were hard to come by. I am working to establish both red and white mulberry trees that just happened to sprout in my yard, plus I have a larger non-fruiting weeping mulberry that came with the house.

To illustrate how tough they are, the weeping mulberry was about 7” thick at the base and maybe 12 feet tall. The previous homeowner planted it on top of the septic leach field so it had to go. I could not really dig up the root ball, so I figured I’d gently pull it out with a 20-ton tow strap. Well it didn’t pull out, it just broke off every root and left me with a pole with branches on top. So, I cut off the branches and planted the bare pole. It lived and is now rooted again in a new location.

I can probably root some cuttings if folks are interested.
I watched YouTube videos and tried that last spring and not a single one rooted. I tried a variety of different size and types of branches from several different trees. Nothing took. Where did I go wrong? Can you give me a brief tutorial about how to do it? This will benefit anyone reading, including the OP, who might be able to just start his/her own in pots from trees around the neighborhood.
 

Professor Brenda

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I have red fruiting ones. I have a huge one in my sulcata yard, about 15 foot tall. I do pick up some of the berries when they drop. I don't mind the purple bird droppings. I like the birds. I live in the country so it is a little easier to tolerate when you have a lot of space, I guess. Locally, I sell some of the trees we dig up that grow from those bird droppings. I've never mailed them but would be willing to do so if someone wants them. Fruitless are hard to find. Good luck.
 

turtlesteve

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I watched YouTube videos and tried that last spring and not a single one rooted. I tried a variety of different size and types of branches from several different trees. Nothing took. Where did I go wrong? Can you give me a brief tutorial about how to do it? This will benefit anyone reading, including the OP, who might be able to just start his/her own in pots from trees around the neighborhood.

Tom,

I haven't rooted mulberries before, but I've had some success with other trees and plants. So I can't say that I really know for sure what method will work yet, but I will start a thread and document what I'm doing for the forum.

This year I plan to do some white mulberry and hibiscus / rose of sharon cuttings. I'll do a couple red mulberries just to see if they take, but I have no shortage of those since the birds seem to sprout 4-5 of them in my yard every year. Rose of sharon can also grow from root cuttings so I'll try a couple of those as well.

Steve
 

Brendaf

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I live in Phoenix, Arizona and they are not permitted to sell them any more here. Causes too many allergies. I have three trees bought back in 1978. So I am in good shape for leaves.
now i know why i can’t find them. I am in Mesa/AJ area
 

SoCalGreek

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This is for a few cuttings if you want to grow your own. It’s actually pretty easy. Groworganic.com has lots of great organic products that would help you.
 

yaycolin

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This is for a few cuttings if you want to grow your own. It’s actually pretty easy. Groworganic.com has lots of great organic products that would help you.
I have tried to grow my own from rooted cuttings, but I have failed twice now. Not sure what I am doing wrong lol but I feel like I would be better off going with an already established tree.
 

Tom

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I have tried to grow my own from rooted cuttings, but I have failed twice now. Not sure what I am doing wrong lol but I feel like I would be better off going with an already established tree.
Same here. I tried several different techniques, as seen on YouTube. All failed. I tried about two dozen cuttings from different branches of different trees. Different diameters, different stages of growth, etc... None took.
 

tortadise

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Fruitless would be a male. Males only flower, females
Fruit. Not sure if they can graft males or females when starting them out. That’s out of my wheelhouse of plant knowledge. Females
Will grow better with males though. I have 1 small male and 2 large females. The fruit can be annoying in times. But loved by all, even me. Haha
 

turtlesteve

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Fruitless would be a male. Males only flower, females
Fruit. Not sure if they can graft males or females when starting them out. That’s out of my wheelhouse of plant knowledge. Females
Will grow better with males though. I have 1 small male and 2 large females. The fruit can be annoying in times. But loved by all, even me. Haha

Yes, they would have to graft clones (or grow cuttings) of a specific fruitless tree. In general mulberries are gender-fluid; male trees can change to female or vice-versa, and sometimes produce both male and female flowers at the same time. So all male trees won't necessarily stay male forever. The "fruitless" cultivars that are sold could be clones of permanently male trees, or trees that are genetically defective (e.g. produce infertile female flowers).
 

tortadise

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Yes, they would have to graft clones (or grow cuttings) of a specific fruitless tree. In general mulberries are gender-fluid; male trees can change to female or vice-versa, and sometimes produce both male and female flowers at the same time. So all male trees won't necessarily stay male forever. The "fruitless" cultivars that are sold could be clones of permanently male trees, or trees that are genetically defective (e.g. produce infertile female flowers).
Makes sense in that regard. Similar thing happen in bois D’ arc trees. Females apple(fruit) and males do not. BUT if no species alike are found within pollination area or close prolixity they males can change to female to “survive” that species within its distance. Nature is awesome basically.
 
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