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Old 06-11-2020, 07:09 PM   #1
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Mulberry tree crack


I believe this is a Mulberry tree. I recently noticed a large crack. After seeing this, I looked the tree over pretty well. After doing so, I also see that two larger branches are not looking too healthy. No leaves on them and seem to be shedding bark. Most alarming is the fact that it looks to be leaning now. It wasn't the last time I looked at the tree for more than a couple minutes. Any ideas?
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Old 06-11-2020, 07:17 PM   #2
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Re: Mulberry tree crack


The tree looks as if it was severely cut back , resulting in injury, and all the limbs it has now is sucker growth. In my opinion there isn't much hope for it.
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Old 06-11-2020, 08:02 PM   #3
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Re: Mulberry tree crack


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The tree looks as if it was severely cut back , resulting in injury, and all the limbs it has now is sucker growth. In my opinion there isn't much hope for it.

It definitely has been butchered by whoever the landlord has had here in the past. You're probably right.
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Old 06-12-2020, 09:49 AM   #4
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Re: Mulberry tree crack


hmmm it might be best to cut off that side of the tree since the weight is apparently pulling it down.

That said, you could try fixing it.

Check that it's not got any kinda infestation or really bad rot in the crack. If it doesn't then smear the inside of the crack with shellac or pure bees wax (that'll protect it from bugs, prevent rot and won't harm the tree or stop it from growing back together [aka grafting] - like a pruning seal would) Next you want to see if there's any weight you can take off the 'sagging' side of the trunk. Then you want to put some ratchet straps around it to pull the crack back together as much as you possibly can (the straps will probs be there for a few years) - or you could drill holes through the trunk "across" the cut and bolt it together (you can't recover the bolts later, but the bark will probs grow over both ends eventually. [and some mill smith however many years from now will swear as his blade dulls going over it heh) Finally I'd snip off any sucker's, prune seal those, and then give it a good shot of fertilizer to hopefully get it grafting.
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Last edited by Mystriss; 06-12-2020 at 09:53 AM.
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Old 06-12-2020, 02:57 PM   #5
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Re: Mulberry tree crack


I would say goodbye to it.
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Old 06-12-2020, 05:30 PM   #6
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Re: Mulberry tree crack


Ayuh,..... Looks like firewood to me,......
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Old 06-12-2020, 05:31 PM   #7
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Re: Mulberry tree crack


I don't think it's a goner, given the number of branches and the newer growth... You could probs cut off the majority of that left side (in first pic, the side with the bigger cut top limb there) and the tree would probs survive it and come out of it alright -- that's assuming it's able to graft the trunk - aka that the core of it wasn't permanently damaged; which you could figure out when you took off that side, and then decide if it's a goner :P

Also I forgot to mention, the branches in the last pic there look like they just got the bark rubbed off them, that's not usually that big a deal. I'd swab them with shellac or bees wax and they'll likely regrow their bark.
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Old 06-12-2020, 07:26 PM   #8
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Re: Mulberry tree crack


It is a fast growing weak hardwood tree. There isn’t much other than a trunk and suckers. The crack will probably rot and get weaker. It could be trimmed, pulled together, cabled, etc. and kept for a few more years if you have money to blow on it. Since it has been butchered in the past and it is failing, I would make firewood from it. It has a high moisture content and might take 2 years to season for burning.
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Old 06-12-2020, 07:31 PM   #9
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Re: Mulberry tree crack


I wouldn't shed a tear if you cut it down.
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Old 06-13-2020, 12:26 PM   #10
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Re: Mulberry tree crack


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It is a fast growing weak hardwood tree. There isn’t much other than a trunk and suckers. The crack will probably rot and get weaker. It could be trimmed, pulled together, cabled, etc. and kept for a few more years if you have money to blow on it. Since it has been butchered in the past and it is failing, I would make firewood from it. It has a high moisture content and might take 2 years to season for burning.
I have said this verbatim to a pesky neighbor who insisted on spending the $800 on their arborist's solution to bolt and bracket a mangled and unproperly maintained tree. The winner is the arborist, $800 now, $1400 in a few years to cut it down. Unless trees are sacred to your religion or it's listed on a historic register, consider it the circle of life.

And tell your landlord it is a liability.

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Old 06-15-2020, 02:59 AM   #11
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Re: Mulberry tree crack


Wow, I have not been getting the emails or seeing any notifications on here to let me know more people have replied. Glad I checked, as I was very curious as to what others might say. No tears being shed here.
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Old 06-15-2020, 05:28 AM   #12
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Re: Mulberry tree crack


On the + side, look at some the options in wooden kitchen utensils and Mulberry is a decent close grained wood for that.
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Old 06-15-2020, 07:34 AM   #13
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Re: Mulberry tree crack


@Jamesonc , nice to meet you and howdy neighbor!

Ordinarily, I'm with @Mystriss , and would do what I can to save a tree.

But that tree looks pretty bad. In particular that big long crack along its length. Once that happens, it will likely not every fully regain its structural integrity, which means it might come crashing down in a windstorm, though in much of California, that usually happens in the winter when mulberries are bare.

So, I concur with @Bondo , @3onthetree , @dj3 and @Old Thomas and advise immediate chain saw therapy, with possible replacement.

While Mulberries are fast growing, they're not the total trash that some other fast growing trees are. They offer very fast growth, a wide crown and lots of shade in the summer, but sun in the winter, which might be what you want. As a practical matter, that means that planting a new mulberry and taking reasonable care of it is a reasonable option. You're talking a relatively short time till shade.

Just out of curiosity, where in California are you? I'm in OC/Whittier area. I ask because, depending on where you're at, I might be able to recommend a replacement if you want one.

And, mulberry appears to make reasonably good barbeque wood. No sub for mesquite to be sure, but it's a hardwood, and once dry, lights easily.

Hope this helps.
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Old 06-15-2020, 09:16 AM   #14
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Re: Mulberry tree crack


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@Jamesonc , nice to meet you and howdy neighbor!

Ordinarily, I'm with @Mystriss , and would do what I can to save a tree.

But that tree looks pretty bad. In particular that big long crack along its length. Once that happens, it will likely not every fully regain its structural integrity, which means it might come crashing down in a windstorm, though in much of California, that usually happens in the winter when mulberries are bare.

So, I concur with @Bondo , @3onthetree , @dj3 and @Old Thomas and advise immediate chain saw therapy, with possible replacement.

While Mulberries are fast growing, they're not the total trash that some other fast growing trees are. They offer very fast growth, a wide crown and lots of shade in the summer, but sun in the winter, which might be what you want. As a practical matter, that means that planting a new mulberry and taking reasonable care of it is a reasonable option. You're talking a relatively short time till shade.

Just out of curiosity, where in California are you? I'm in OC/Whittier area. I ask because, depending on where you're at, I might be able to recommend a replacement if you want one.

And, mulberry appears to make reasonably good barbeque wood. No sub for mesquite to be sure, but it's a hardwood, and once dry, lights easily.

Hope this helps.

Morning Dave, and thanks for your reply, along with everyone else. I'm in the San Gabriel Valley area. I would like to hear what recommendations you have.
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Old 06-15-2020, 09:38 AM   #15
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Re: Mulberry tree crack


@Jamesonc , you're right over the hill from me, literally, more or less.

"Fruitless" mulberry (a male tree, pollen, no berries) are still an excellent shade tree for fast shade. Whatever they lack in glam, they're utilitarian and they do the job, like a VW Bug or old Chevy Nova. (Females, with berries, well, berries are good, but hard to harvest, bird poop, gunk on the cars, ick. Unless you've got a thing for mulberry wine, etc. Like Raspberry. I digress . . . . )

One detail, you mention that you're a renter: make sure to get your landlord's written permission before planting another tree. The reason is that some unauthorized improvements can be charged later as "waste." Another good reason for the mulberry, since that tree was already there.

Flowering trees like Crepe myrtle, Trumpet Tree, etc., are pretty but the blossoms can be messy, though they will make nice shade. Ditto for a jacaranda.

Maybe give more exact particulars on what you're hoping for? If you're buying the house from renting, that might call for different considerations than if you're renting then leaving.
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