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General Jay
General Jay, Problem Solver
Category: General
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Experience:  General contractor, project manager, excellent problem solving skills, retired professional athlete.
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Every year there is less foliage on my fruitless mulberry trees.

Resolved Question:

Every year there is less foliage on my fruitless mulberry trees. Many of the branches leaf out at the ends and are otherwise bare of foliage. Is there anything I can do to turn the tide?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: General
Expert:  General Jay replied 5 years ago.
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Mulberry trees are generally very hardy trees that can adapt to various climates and soil conditions. However, mulberry trees have shallow root systems which makes them susceptible to various diseases and insects. A mulberry tree with very little foliage is typically a sign of tree stress brought on by disease or a traumatic event. The lack of leaves is usually a late symptom to damage that has occurred to its roots or inner wood. So more than likely it isnt something that you are doing wrong in the care of the tree, but rather something that has occurred in the past. You are just now seeing the results with the lack of foliage.

I would recommend mulching the soil around the trees with 2 to 3 inches of wood chips. Lightly fertilize around the trees and water every 3 or so weeks. Hopefully you will see some improvement, but the possibility remains that the root systems may have previously been damaged by disease.

Feel free to post any follow-up questions you may have.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
So if I have a tree that has a 50 ft. diameter, I would have to fill in the entire area of the tree with 2 to 3 inches of mulch? Should I cut the dead branches back? How long should it take to see improvement? If there is no improvement, am I to consider the tree unsalvageable?
Expert:  General Jay replied 5 years ago.
Yes, you want to mulch around the entire base of the tree about 2 to 3 inches deep. Any branches that are dead should be trimmed off.

If you do not see any noticeable improvement then it may be worth having a local arborist come and make an assessment of the trees. Some diseases can be treated with a fungicide where as others it is inevitable that the trees will not survive.

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