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what would cause a fruitless mulberry tree to lose its leaves

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in august? could it be...
what would cause a fruitless mulberry tree to lose its leaves in august? could it be the heat and what can i do?
Submitted: 5 years ago.Category: General
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Answered in 8 hours by:
8/18/2012
Expert: Patience, Internet Researcher replied 5 years ago
Patience
Patience, Internet Researcher
Category: General
Satisfied Customers: 291
Experience: MA Clinical Psychology; BS Health Sciences
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Patience :

 


Yes, it sounds as though the tree has heat and moisture stress, which can be caused by disease, high temperatures, other bad environmental conditions, or injury.


 


To put it simply, the most likely cause of the problem is that your tree may not be getting enough water, even though you have been trying to keep it hydrated. The root systems of fruitless mulberry trees can grow so rapidly that what may have been enough water in previous times will not be enough water now. Particularly during a drought, the leaves will be giving off water faster than the roots can take it up.


 


A deep watering will get the water into the root system so that it will be able to take up enough water to counterbalance what the leaves give off. For best results, you can cut off the side of a plastic gallon jug and place the cut side touching the ground. Then stick the hose through the top where the lid screws on and let the water run for 10-15 minutes. Alternately, you can use a soaker hose placed around the drip line, dripping the water slowly every week throughout the balance of the summer and early fall.


 


There is a slight possibility that you may have the opposite trouble. If your soil does not drain well, the mulberry tree will not tolerate it when the soil remains soggy for more than a few days. If this is the case, you can amend heavy soils with compost or manure to improve drainage or you can have a drain installed.


 


Root damage can also be a cause of reduced moisture to the roots. The shallow roots of mulberry trees are easily damaged by machinery such as lawn mowers or trimmers nicking the tree bark repeatedly while in use. A traumatic event, such as an ice storm or lightening can also become the cause of tree damage.


 


Check the bark and leaves for signs of diseases such as bacterial leaf scorch, infestation from fungi, and root rot. These can also be the cause of the problem and they can severely the roots and the inner wood.


 


If the tree is only low on water, it should come around fine for next spring. However, if the tree seems to be diseased or severely damaged you can contact your local extension office. See below.


 


University of Nevada Cooperative Extension


Phone:(NNN) NNN-NNNN/p>

http://www.unce.unr.edu/contact/


http://www.unce.unr.edu/programs/sites/mastergardener/askus/


 


Please be sure to rate my response using the star system so that I can be credited for my time. After that, I will I will be happy continue our discussion if you need any additional information or insight.


 


Good customer service is one of my highest priorities! Please use the REPLY tab with any issues that come up regarding the service you have received .Come back soon and remember to ask for Patience P!


 

Patience
Patience, Internet Researcher
Category: General
Satisfied Customers: 291
Experience: MA Clinical Psychology; BS Health Sciences
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Expert: Patience, Internet Researcher replied 5 years ago
[Dear Customer- I am resending your answer, as you may have had trouble accessing the previous response due to a computer glitch. Please do not hesitate to ask me for further info. Best regards, Patience P.]

Yes, it sounds as though the tree has heat and moisture stress, which can be caused by disease, high temperatures, other bad environmental conditions, or injury.

To put it simply, the most likely cause of the problem is that your tree may not be getting enough water, even though you have been trying to keep it hydrated. The root systems of fruitless mulberry trees can grow so rapidly that what may have been enough water in previous times will not be enough water now. Particularly during a drought, the leaves will be giving off water faster than the roots can take it up.

A deep watering will get the water into the root system so that it will be able to take up enough water to counterbalance what the leaves give off. For best results, you can cut off the side of a plastic gallon jug and place the cut side touching the ground. Then stick the hose through the top where the lid screws on and let the water run for 10-15 minutes. Alternately, you can use a soaker hose placed around the drip line, dripping the water slowly every week throughout the balance of the summer and early fall.

There is a slight possibility that you may have the opposite trouble. If your soil does not drain well, the mulberry tree will not tolerate it when the soil remains soggy for more than a few days. If this is the case, you can amend heavy soils with compost or manure to improve drainage or you can have a drain installed.

Root damage can also be a cause of reduced moisture to the roots. The shallow roots of mulberry trees are easily damaged by machinery such as lawn mowers or trimmers nicking the tree bark repeatedly while in use. A traumatic event, such as an ice storm or lightening can also become the cause of tree damage.

Check the bark and leaves for signs of diseases such as bacterial leaf scorch, infestation from fungi, and root rot. These can also be the cause of the problem and they can severely the roots and the inner wood.

If the tree is only low on water, it should come around fine for next spring. However, if the tree seems to be diseased or severely damaged you can contact your local extension office. See below.

University of Nevada Cooperative Extension
Phone: (702) 222-3130
http://www.unce.unr.edu/contact/
http://www.unce.unr.edu/programs/sites/mastergardener/askus/
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featured content

Fruitless mulberry trees explained

Mulberry trees have long been popular as a shade tree, and fruitless mulberry trees are the perfect answer to the fruited variety’s major flaws: messy fruit everywhere and an invasive growing habit because of the seed-filled droppings of birds that eat the berries.

The fruitless mulberry tree, botanically known as morus alba, boasts some 15 species. The tree is deciduous, except in tropical climates, where it is evergreen. 

The tree’s advantages make it popular as a shade-producing landscape tree:

  • Extremely fast growing, often 20 feet by 20 feet in three years, up to 60 feet tall with a canopy as wide as 45 feet
     
  • Grows in a wide variety of soil conditions and climates, from deserts to tropical beaches
     
  • Drought- and flood- resistant once established
     
  • Mature trees seldom need to be pruned, developing a full, round crown on its own with a little help in the first few years
     
  • Leaves are an attractive dark green and turn bright yellow in the fall
     
  • Resists pollution, making it ideal for urban areas

 

The tree also has its disadvantages that should be taken into account before planting

  • As a water hog, even though it can withstand drought, its roots seek out septic tanks and wells
     
  • Shallow, strong roots can crack sidewalks and foundations
     
  • Susceptible to diseases including mulberry leaf spot and cotton root rot, which can both be treated, the root rot with some difficulty
     
  • Produces pollen in spring that can be torturous for many allergy sufferers
     
  • Can take over a landscape if planted in a small space
     
  • Has a life span of only 20-25 years on average, due to its fast-growing nature

 

Growing fruitless mulberry trees

The tree is easily propagated from cuttings of young or even mature wood. Although it tolerates most soils, quickest growth comes from a soil with a pH of 6.1 to 6.5 that is loamy and well-drained.

Fruitless mulberry trees grow best in full sun and, because of their invasive roots, should be planted well away from pipes and sidewalks. The tree appreciates deep, frequent watering, and should be staked for the first year.

In the second year, start applying fertilizer, preferably with a 2-inch layer of compost or 3:1:1 granular fertilizer in spring. Spread the compost under the canopy and a few feet beyond it.

Some landscapers actively prune mulberry trees to keep them from overtaking the space they’re planted in, but this practice can result in weak branches that are dangerous if they break off.

This pruning, known as pollarding, is also labor-intensive. It’s best to plant a fruitless mulberry tree in a space where it can grow unhindered. If necessary, you can prune off unusually long or low branches once the tree is two or three years old.

If a mulberry’s leaves start to turn yellow before fall, it’s most likely the result of root rot, or a lack of water. There are other funguses that affect the trees, but they’re largely benign for a fruitless mulberry, and can be treated with fungicide.

If root rot takes hold, however, the tree will likely die within a year or so. This can be prevented by using a fertilizer high in nitrogen.

 

 

 

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