The mulberry tree is also known as the Morus plant. It is popular in the temperate regions of the world. There are three kinds of mulberry trees: the red, the black, and the white mulberry.
You can find black, white, and red mulberries in North Africa, South Europe, Middle East, South Asia, and in the Americas, especially the United States and Brazil. The mulberry tree has fruits that are sweet when they are fully ripe.
In today's post, we'll be looking at how to kill mulberry tree. But, why would anyone want to get rid of this plant if they have sweet fruit? Let's quickly find out!
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Why Kill Mulberry Trees?
Mulberry trees are what we like to call sweet chaos. If you did not intentionally plant a mulberry tree and suddenly you see one growing in your plot. Then, you have a problem.
Mulberry, with its sweet fruits, is an invasive species, especially the white mulberry. And one thing with invasive species is they have no respect for personal space.
The roots of the tree are aggressive and will cause a lot of damage to the garden. Give it a little chance, and it goes ballistic, choking other plants and shooting up its roots in unexpected places.
And what’s worse?
They are not even easy to exterminate. If you attempt to kill it, you will meet significant resistance, and if one stands a chance of ridding their garden of the mulberry tree, they’d have to get to the root of the problem-no pun intended.
So, below, we are going to share with you how to kill mulberry trees.
Read Also: Best Dandelion Killers
How to Kill a Mulberry Tree
1. Protect yourself
The first thing to do is to get yourself personal protective equipment—your glasses, gloves, and helmet. You have to stay safe.
2. Cut Root, Cut Tree
Next, dig out the roots and saplings and cut them. Make sure no part of the root is still underground. This is because mulberries are resistant and can grow back. The best period for you to kill the mulberry tree is from May to September as this is the time, they develop their green parts.
If you are finding it hard to cut any part of the root, make massive cuts on that part instead. Use a chainsaw to cut down the tree and then apply a potent herbicide on the tree stump.
You can also drill a lot of holes into the stump and roots so that the herbicide can permeate through the live wood properly.
3. Apply Herbicide
Get any herbicide that has any of the following active ingredients: triclopyr, glyphosate, or 2,4-D. Mix it with water or follow the steps listed on the herbicide. Then get a paintbrush and use it to rub the herbicide on the roots. Pour them into the holes you drilled also.
The roots and holes will take in the herbicides and the herbicides, in turn, will start destroying the cells of the mulberry.
4. Consistency Kills Too
Remember, we mentioned that mulberries are hard to kill. So, please do not assume that your work is over immediately you do what we listed above.
Mulberries can grow back. You have to keep dealing with the stump and new growth till they all die off. It is a case of whose resolve is stronger.
After some days, peel off the stump’s skin so that water and nutrients don’t go round the stump. Keep cutting the skin in circles till you get to a wet part.
5. Starve Stump of Oxygen
After the peeling, cover the tree stump with dry leaves and sand. This covering is to prevent oxygen from reaching the stump.
Top Mulberry Killers
Here we list out chemicals that are quite effective in dealing with the stubborn mulberry tree. It would help if you considered these below:
Small Tree Killers
For small mulberry trees that are below fifteen feet in height, make use of herbicides that the mulberry roots can take in quickly.
Please do not use the root sprays during the dry season as they will evaporate. Glyphosate is one foliar spray you should consider. Use it at summer ends and the start of autumn.
During the middle of summer, imazapyr is your best bet. At the start of summer and then spring, make use of triclopyr, dicamba, 2,4-D, or picloram.
Big Tree Killers
For big mulberry trees that have a diameter larger than 5 inches, use dichlorprop on the stump or trunk. For the roots, use hexazinone, tebuthiuron and bromacil.
If the roots of the mulberry plant entered a sewer line, you have to do more than use a herbicide. You will need foaming agents too.
Examples of foaming agents are dichlobenil and metamsodium. You should know though that only people who have application licenses can purchase these foaming agents.
Why do you need foaming agents? You need foaming agents to increase the chance of the roots absorbing the herbicide.
Safety is Paramount
Do not trifle with herbicides. They are deadly, to plants, animals, and humans. As long as you are working with them, wear shoes that can protect you from the impact of chemicals. An alternative is to use cellophane to protect your shoes.
It would be best if you put on hand gloves because some herbicides can permanently stain your hands. Remember also not to use the gloved hand to touch your face.
No human or animal should come close when you are applying the herbicide. And when you store the herbicide, make sure they are out of reach of animals and kids.
It is very unwise to multi-task when using herbicides. You do not get to eat, drink, or smoke while applying the herbicide. This is to avoid the risk of swallowing or inhaling something toxic.
In the event of any accidental contact with the skin, undress and wash off quickly with warm water. If there is a case of swallowing or inhaling, go to the hospital with the herbicide.
Lastly, please do not joke with the chainsaw, it is dangerous equipment. If you do not know how to use one, kindly tell someone who does to help you.
Read Also: How to Save a Dying Cherry Tree
Mulberry trees may have lovely fruits, but they sure do create a menace. The roots are shallow but aggressive and will choke other plants in your garden.
Invasive plants will use up the nutrients the ground has for your plants, leaving your plants malnourished. It can also cause you to stumble while taking a stroll in your garden, which why learning how to kill a mulberry tree is a good skill.
Killing mulberry trees is hard because you will find that it grows back and that is why you have to keep dealing with it till it dies. Be consistent with the right methods, stay safe while at it and you can beat even the tough mulberry tree.