Mulberry Mixup - One Green World - what do I have?

Mulberry grafting can be tricky due to sap flow. Similar to grapes and figs, last fall just before dormancy and this spring just before sap rose I grafted some fig and grapes successfully. This article I had found online fro a pdf was my tip. You might try top working it in the very early spring. I can send you dormant IE scions if you need them this winter around mid Jan- mid Feb.


never tried fall grafting. i might give it a try with a few cherries to see if they would take better. if successful it would be a option if your spring grafts didnt take you wouldnt have to wait until the following spring to try again.

Was just out picking mulberries. IE (two 25+ yr old trees) has some Popcorn Dz-infected fruits, but less than in most recent years. Still… it’s hard to beat.
Silk Hope is still my favorite. Lawson Dawson is good, and is preferred by my wife. Wellington has been a disappointment here for over 20 years, but the berries are sizing up pretty nicely this year… just not many of them.
Have two presumed seedlings of IE that I transplanted to the barnlot… both are bearing well. One is comparable to, if not better than, IE.
Local M.rubra selection grafted onto a big M.alba trunk is fruiting nicely, but it won’t last nearly as long as the rubraXalba hybrids.
Kokuso is just a couple of branches grafted into a trashy M.alba. They get sweet, but not much flavor… no one here really likes it.
Sicilian Black, which was purchased as a M.nigra (it’s not!) has survived another winter, with a moderate amount of damage, but is producing great big berries… but I haven’t beaten the birds to a ripe one yet.


So… I have been watching grafting vids this eve. Bark Graft seems pretty easy and quite successful.

My mulberry of choice to replace it with will be a Girrardi. I have a 2 in one planting of euro plums that a taller tree would shade… if I did not keep it whacked down to 12 ft or so… so would not even have to worry about that if I go with the Girrardi.

My white mulberry (not of choice)… is 1 & 3/4 inch in diameter at 16 inch up from ground.

2 or 3 bark grafts ?

If I did that in the fall… where would I get scions ?

Keep in mind no experience with grafting at all… but not afraid to give it a shot at all.

Corrections, recommendations welcome.

Ps … have a fav brand of grafting knife ?
Tape ? Bees wax or other sealer ?



Hi Trev
I would be inclined to wait until spring since you most likely will not find dormant scionwood this late. And even if you did you would need to question if it would be viable after so much storage.
I would cut it completely off about 1-2’ above ground so that you have the possibility of new shoots growing should your grafts fail in the first attempt. Then you could do whip & tongue grafts quite easily next fall.
Once you cut it off and trim the bark to a smooth edge recommend about 3-4 double tongue side grafts staggered around the stump art several elevations. This video gives you a good idea of what it should look like. Ask whoever provides scions to give you wood about 1/2” diameter which should allow you to match cambium with both sides of the scion when you use this technique.

I would buy a victornix grafting knife like the one offered by Raintree Nursery. The red handled one on their website is excellent for all types of grafts you may want to try. It comes razor sharp and you rarely need to sharpen it.
They can also sell you parafilm which you need to use to prepare scions before grafting.
The best sealer I have found is the white modeling Clay at Walmart. It is very easy to apply and completely seals out air and rainwater. Another is Tanglefoot sold by Acehardware. A little messy but it will do the job.
To compress the grafts once you have them in place, and sealed with grafting tape, I find tourniquet rubbers from giving blood or very strong rubber bands to be very good, but either way you will not leave these on until after the scions are growing well, then you remove the rubber leaving the grafting tape in place, to avoid girdling your tree.
Hope this is all clear.
Good luck

I have used this particular graft many times and it does not require much practice,but I do recommend you practice on a similar size Forrest tree just to assure you can repeat the cuts and match cambium before you do your tree.

Thanks for the details @DennisD

I have lots of saplings in the woods here to practice on. I will do that.


i do use a grafting knife but a sheetrock knife with a new blade does a good job also. i shake too much to make a whip and tongue so i use the ugly cleft graft but it works which is good enough for me.

:astonished: :astonished: :astonished:

They send you the wrong plant, you invest several years of your time tending to and waiting for what you expected to grow and then when it turns out that it is CLEARLY the wrong plant, they make you order again and pay the equivalent to half of the shipping? Wow… okay. :confused:

@TNHunter That is a new variety called “TNHunter white mild”. :grinning:

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Simple bark graft is all I ever do with mulberries. Couple of quick semi-girdling cuts below the graft, to offset ‘bleeding’, and you’re good to go.
I wrap with Parafilm (union and scion), then overwrap union with a couple layers of masking tape then wrap with a rubber band.


@Lucky_P Do you graft mulberries before or after the buds begin to break?

I do almost all my grafting ‘in the field’.
Bark grafts for 95% of what i do, regardless of species, and almost never do any grafts before rootstocks are actively growing.


@FarmGirl-Z6A - yes, exactly what you described above is how it feels… buy it, plant it, grow it, prune it, finally get fruit and it is not what you ordered. I really hate that I let so many turn white… and then they just browned and fell off — of course I was expecting them to turn red then black or purple… but no they turned white and well then fell off next.

It was not until a BUNCH of them had fallen off that I realized that, these are getting ripe (while white) and then falling off. Bummer.

Any way I did email OGW, and they replied and asked me to send them some Pictures of the fruit and I did, and of the leaves too, and I let them know how I felt about this (quite disappointed).

I have spent quite a few $$$ there over the past 3 years, it will be interesting to see what they offer.
If only a 10% off deal - I will probably just shop somewhere else in the future.

@Lucky_P - thanks much for your grafting advice, and offer to help. I pretty much have my mind made up that I am going to (if at all possible) graft Girardi on that (white stump). Hopefully early next spring will be able to get some scion wood for that.

I have watched several more youtube vids on Bark Grafts, Cleft Grafts, etc… that double tongue side graft looks a little more complicated but I like how the scion wood angles out from the stump rather than just going straight up. I will have to practice a few of those on saplings around here before I try it out for real on this mulberry. Getting some actual experience with a few will help me decide on that.

PS… The first bark graft vid I watched on youtube, the older gentleman used a bicycle tire innertube, cut into long strips, to wrap his grafts tightly. Looked like it worked nicely, he used Bees wax for sealer (he had his own bees), and the tire tube rubber. It was his first bark graft attempt, and it was successful.

I checked my email this evening and no reply from OGW since I sent them the pictures of the fruit and leaves early this morning. I will let you all know how that works out.

Thanks for all the good advice.



Got a reply from OGW today… Customer Care…

Thanking me for providing the photos, very apologetic for the mix up.
Said they were currently out of stock on the variety that I ordered (Illinois Everbearing) and that they have issued a 25.95 credit for the cost of the tree to my account. The credit does not expire and can be used anytime. They gave me a CODE to go with that that I can use on my next order.

Well… it is still a bummer situation. I let my wife try 3 berries that I found this morning that were ripe (yes very low bearing)… and she likes sweet stuff… but her review of the fruit taste was this exactly…

A little sweet but taste like nothing.

I agree.

I think OGW did give me a pretty fair deal, and I may just shop there again, to get that credit at least.