Why grow a grafted mulberry?

I’m replacing two mulberry trees on my property. They got hit by our derecho in August.

Raintree is selling grafted Illinois everbearing. That is the variety I’m looking for, but I’m wondering: is there a point of grafting Illinois everbearing? I’ve grown mullberries from cuttings with the kids as a science project and it was supper easy. Wondering if there is a point to Illinois everbearing being on a specific rootstock? A full sized tree is my goal, so is there something to gain from grafting?

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I believe some varieties of mulberry self-root easily and others are more difficult, with illinois everbearing being the latter. Still can be done with humidity/misting/rooting hormone/the right medium according to this, but I don’t have any experience personally with doing it:



Swincher is right. Some are almost impossible to root. Others are very easy. The other reason to graft is to use dwarfing rootstock. D.


ive tried 2xs to root illin everbearing with no success. ive also tried to graft it to my Morus alba 2xs with no takes but didnt know you should notch below the graft to limit sap to help it take. ill try again next spring.


Hmm I had planned to do some mulberry grafting possibly this year, so this notching idea is good to know.
I attempted one graft last year and was concerned with the sap…

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Interesting. I was rooting figs at the same time so the mulberry cuttings got the same VIP treatment without me thinking anything about it.

I’ve stuck 200 softwood cuttings of IEM over two years with Dip n Grow, not one take. Like everyone else says, a few push a couple of roots then wither away. This year I’m ordering M. rubra rootstock and grafting. IEM is just a fickle rooter, that’s why grafting.

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Same with Morus nigra, almost impossible to root from cuttings, hence most are grafted onto alba

I took about 20 or so cuttings off of White Pakistan last year and couldn’t get a single one to root.

I rooted cuttings of IE, Silk Hope, Hicks Everbearing, Stearns, and Lawson Dawson last summer… semi-hardwood to greenwood cuttings, taken in mid-July, cut to two or three buds per cutting, leaves cut back by one-half, with only one or two half-leafs at terminal end of cuttings, dipped in whatever rooting hormone powder I had on hand, stuck, en masse, in soilless potting mix in 1-gal shallow pots(10" diameter, more or less). Watered in well, and pulled a plastic grocery bag over the top, then placed in a shady spot on the north side of the house. Watered as needed.
Ended up with anywhere from 5% to 25% rooted cuttings, but all had at least a couple that ‘took’. Potted them up individually this fall once the leaves fell off… will see how many survive the winter to outplant this spring. These got MINIMAL attention, and some still rooted. I have, however, had 0% success rooting any dormant-collected cuttings of any mulberry, and no success rooting any M.rubra at any time.


Any follow-up on these rooted mulberries?

I’ve never gotten any IE cuttings (or a couple other alba) to root long-term.

World’s Best roots easily.

Any idea if Gerardi roots easily?


I believe the twig of a dwarf Girardi I bought last year is on its own roots and have seen discussions here about it losing its dwarf characteristics if on a non dwarfing rootstock.

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I gave away most of the rooted cuttings to friends, but planted one in a spot where my wife had had me remove a really slow-growing bur oak…she wanted shade, and that particular BO was only about 12 ft tall after 25 yrs.
The own-root Stearns cutting went from a 6" plant to two 10 ft stems, 1-1.5 inch diameter near ground level, in one growing season.


Of my limited experience growing mulberries from cuttings I’ve gotten an okay number to root, but of those that did root I have but one still alive. It seems that counting them as successful after they push a few roots is like counting your chicks as soon as the eggs are laid. I am not aware of any dwarfing rootstock so I have to believe that the prevalence of grafted mulberries is on account of it being simply cost prohibitive for most nurseries to grow certain varieties via rooting cuttings due to the high failure rate.

I’m super curious though to find out if mulberries would respond well to being stooled for propagation. I wasn’t able to find any great info one way or the other as to whether stooling would be successful.

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I have a now quite large mulberry (OGW label on it… as Illinois Everbearing) which produced a bunch of WHITE sweet only mulberries last late spring. They really had no flavor… just some sweetness… which I do not care for at all.

I have some Gerardi scionwood now and hope to graft to it to change varieties.

I plan to cut it off at about 12" high… and bark graft to the stump. Perhaps 3 scions bark grafted in ???

At 12 " tall the stump will be near 3" diameter… so I am thinking that is too big to attempt cleft graft.

If successful… do you think my gerardi grafted to this white mulberry rootstock… will be gerrardi dwarf ???

Also question on graft timing… how do I know when bark is slipping on this white which i will be cutting off.

I understand that cutting some weep knotches about an inch under each graft should help.

Any other tips for this project ?

Also… I have several extra gerrardi scions… and would like to know what rootstock to graft them onto to get dwarf … 6-8 ft tree.
And do you know of a good source for the rootstock ?


im definitely following as ive tried 2 yrs.in a row to graft I.E mulberry to a unnamed M.alba and have had no takes. last spring i scored the bark under the grafts and still no takes.

Try rooting the massive amount of cuttings you will have as rootstock.

Also as I said above, Gerardi is not likely to remain dwarf if grafted to another rootstock.

[quote=“disc4tw, post:12, topic:33823, full:true”]
I believe the twig of a dwarf Girardi I bought last year is on its own roots and have seen discussions here about it losing its dwarf characteristics if on a non dwarfing rootstock.
[/quote] I
Previous discussions report gerardi stays dwarf when grafted. I’ll add my gerardi grafted onto IE is still dwarf.

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Thanks for the data Dennis! I wasn’t sure how that would work and I would be happy to be proven wrong.

Typically it’s easier to graft the types of fruits like grapes, mulberries, and figs either just before the sap begins to rise, or just after leaf fall to help mitigate the bleeding that tends to flood the graft union usually causing mold instead of callousing. Also when you notice the buds breaking, you can slice the bark a bit below your graft to release the pressure and mitigate excessive sap flow. If you do this and you insulate the graft union with a dark poly tape cover by a solar tent, you can keep the union warmer during cold spells and evening lows, thereby encouraging callousing to continue. Hope this helps.
Kent, wa

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