Espalier Mulberry

I think I’m going to give up on my Blackberries, little more work than I want to do with the weeds, mulching, diseases, fertilizers, bugs and ants.

My dwarf mulberry has been fruiting great with no real work other than pruning and it’s loaded with fruit. Their about 1" now after 3 year so maybe their get a little bigger? I thought about using the tee post I already have with the underground irrigation and doing espalier dwarf mulberry. They are fruiting now before the large number of bugs come, where as my blackberry fruit later and they tear them up.

Anyone ever do this or see any real issues with it? I’ve seen photos of lots of young trees but would like to see what they look like after 10 year? I know it will need lots of pruning. My tee post are 15’ apart and 2’ wide. I only have 8’ between rows and wonder if I could still mow or if the branches might stick out? I figure one tree would fill this space if the branches grow to 7’ long.

Any other type of mulberry that would be better than dwarf mulberry for N. Florida zone 8a/8b border?


I think most mulberries produce fruit on new growth…

If yours is like that after a year or two the wood you have tied to your espellar wire would be old wood (not producing fruit, like your picture shows)… but would just be the frame of your tree… and the new growth that comes up off that would fruit.

That would not be bad I think.

Have you seen the youtube vids of Jan Doolin from Florida… her Jans Best mulberry is an awesome fruiting thing. It fruits… she cuts it back and it fruits again.

I am going to try and manage my silk hope and oscar like she does pruning wise.

Found one of her more recent vids.

Too bad Jans best is not known to do well up into zone 7.


I’ve been looking for video about pruning for the technique but maybe it’s not the best tree to use. I figured after eating all the fruit through the spring and summer I could cut the laterals branches to one bud in August and it would have 2-3 month to grow a new branch which would fruit next April? You have to do some summer or fall pruning don’t you if your’re trying to keep it small and get fruit on last year growth? I really have no idea.

I also thought about putting 2 in each row and letting them grow up to about 15’+/- whips and then bend them towards each other and over the 8’ span to the other row creating a canopy?

Can new buds/branches appear on the smooth wood between the current branches?

Forget this idea. I think I would be pruning for months if I tied them all together.

I think that controlling a mulberry may be a bit like trying to control a tornado.

Good luck to you and me.

I have Gerardi going into year 3 now… it is dwarf and pretty easy to manage.

I have no real experience at controlling silk hope (mine is year 2 now)… or oscar… just started this spring.

Let them grow, fruit, then whack them back as hard as you need to… to keep the size you want.
That is my plan for now… we will see how that works.


Yep, I think it would be different if I was thinking about espalier one tree but a lot of pruning if I had 11.

Just trying to figure what to plant in the 11 rows I have if I get rid of the blackberries. No matter what it is it will be a lot of work.

Good luck on your trees.


Blackberries grow well in my area but I quit growing them a few years back because they required more effort than I wanted to give them. I plan to plant a couple of free standing dwarf mulberries as they require very little maintenance and produce a lot of fruit for my grands.


I have heard from others here that Oscar mulberries have a taste quite similar to a blackberry… sweet but with some nice tart in there too.

I had to try it once I heard that.

Found this lady on youtube eating her Oscar mulberries… and just going on and on about how good they are.

Will see if I can find that vid again.

She loves her Oscar mulberries !!!


@figerama … something else you might consider is adding a few CHE trees.

It produces fruit similar to a mulberry… no spray or serious maintenance required… I simply prune mine late winter and again mid summer.

I keep mine around 8-10 ft tall max… so fruit is in easy picking range.

Got my CHE from Cliff at Englands orchard… it is his California dreaming seedless CHE.

I started mine in 2020… and got first fruits last year. They were surprisingly good. Had a taste like a nice ripe very tasty watermelon but with some raspberry mixed in.

Cliff has several varieties of CHE… including one he says is his favorite… that ripens earlier than others.

It would be nice to have some that ripen early and some later… to extend the fresh eating time.

And CHE ripen in the fall… where your mulberries will be ripening late spring early summer.

My CHE on Oct 25 last fall.

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I have…

Blackberries… Illini Hardy, PAF, Ouachitaw, Obsidian, Caddo, Kiowa.

Raspberries… Herritage reds, Fall gold, Joan J, Purple Royalty, bristol blacks, ohio treasure blacks.

And well than… Blueberries, goumi berries, logan berries, serviceberry, strawberry…

3 mulberries… gerardi, silk hope, oscar.

My goumi (I have red gem, sweet scarlet and carmine) and they are very low maint, no spray.
Birds like them but they produce so much fruit that the birds can take as many as they want… and we still get all that we want.

Rabbiteye blueberries are also very low maint, i have never sprayed mine… they grow well… and produce lots of nice fruit.

Of my fruit trees (other than mulberry and CHE) that are very low maint and no spray… Persimmons and Pears.

A low maintenance no spray grower… needs those.


Yep. So much easier and less money to grow.

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I’ve seen several video of people saying that mulberries ONLY fruit on new wood? But my Illinois Everbearing, Dwarf Everbearing and Weeping mulberries were loaded with fruit in March on last years growth. What do they mean? Don’t they fruit on old and new growth?

On my Gerardi…that is starting year 3 now…

The main trunk… no fruit developing there yet.

Most of the scaffold branches no fruit for the part of the branch near to the main trunk.

But as you go out those branches… nearer to the tips. Lots of buds were there and have erupted into shoots (new growth and berries).

It looks like the newer growth developes lots of buds that turn into new growth and berries. The older growth simply does not produce those buds or not near as many.


So when they say new growth they mean at the buds of last year wood? To me that looked like last year wood, but I see now. If this is the case wouldn’t late summer pruning be better then shaping and pruning the tree in winter and cutting off fruiting branches. If you prune in late summer after fruiting maybe more branches would grow and you would have more fruit in spring?

Looking at my pics of Gerardi mulberries from last year… looks like it produced fruit from early May until mid/late June.

When it is finished fruiting late June… it will have put on a lot of new growth… several feet.

I will prune it then… and see if the new growth that happens after that fruits more. That would be nice.

But that growth that develops late summer and fall… may want to leave most of that… it will develop the buds that will make new growth and feuit the next spring.

To keep the height in check well… you may have to prune it back quite a bit after the first fruiting is finished.

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