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I Have A Mulberry Tree As You Enter My Driveway;…

Sandy Asked

I have a mulberry tree as you enter my driveway; in the bearing months it is such a mess. Is there any way I can save this wonderful tree but stop it from producing fruit?

The Gardener’s Answer

Hello, Sandy: Mulberries can be nice shade trees but they certainly have a reputation for being messy. The fruit they produce is harvested in some cases to make jellies, jams, and even wine. The fruit is also a favorite with the birds, squirrels, and raccoons who snack on them and leave their droppings only to plant new seeds, which is more than likely how your tree got there in the first place. This can be a problem in situations like yours where the tree is growing close to the driveway and the fruit can stain the surface. Unfortunately, it is not possible to stop the tree from producing fruit. There are cultivars that are fruitless, but the red mulberry species (Moru rubra) will always produce fruit. This native has both male and female flowers on the same tree, which can be pruned back heavily each year to decrease the fruit production, but this would have to be done each year since the fruit is produced from the current season’s flowers. This would require annual maintenance and may not be worth the effort. You might consider having the tree removed and planting another one that will provide shade but not be so messy.

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