Pruning the mulberry tree

07 1pruning mulberryI have a collection of these photos. Eight of them for every year of living on this farm.

The very first winter I was too nervous to prune this strange creature and had to get help.

I’ve never had such a tree.  They are called mulberry plane tree hybrids – murier-platane. And are very popular.  The plane tree is the trunk and the mulberry is grafted on top to create the shade with its branches.

You have to pollard it back to its main trunks every year.

If you have travelled through France you will know that this treatment is handed out to plane trees, mulberries, and all sorts of trees that are grown for their shade giving properties in summer.  You don’t want them to grow to their natural width. 07 1mulberry detail

If we didn’t prune this beast back, it would probably have spread to both houses in the courtyard by now.

So it gets a radical haircut each year.

I studied how it was done the very first time and then bravely placed the ladder up against its thick trunk and set to.

Thank goodness I’m not scared of heights. You have to climb right into the canopy to reach the highest pesky branches.

07 1mulberry to chipWhen I start I try to direct all the pruned branches into the wheelbarrow.  But once your arms get tired from wielding the heavy loppers, you just let the branches fall.

It’s a two cup of tea problem. I find I can only collect the fallen branches once the tree is completely bald.

They will go straight down to be chipped.

It’s great exercise. And I haven’t fallen out of the tree yet.