Why is my mulberry tree not fruiting? If your specimen no longer produces a bountiful harvest or hasn’t fruited at all since planting, don’t throw in the towel just yet.
As the go-to professional tree service in Fort Myers, FL, we at Island Tree Service have in-depth knowledge of local mulberries and what makes them tick. In this blog post, we go over the potential culprits of poor fruit production and their fixes. Keep reading to get your plant back in action!
It’s Not Yet Fully Grown
How old is your mulberry? Grafted trees will mature and bear fruit within two to three years, while those grown from seed can take between five to ten years. Always temper your expectations and give the tree enough time to develop.
Infections and Infestations
When people ask us “Why is my mulberry tree not fruiting?” poor health due to pests and diseases remains a leading cause. If you have young trees, watch out for these tell-tale symptoms:
- Flowers and immature fruits falling off
- Spotty leaves on your white or black mulberries
- Unusual growth patterns
- Musty odors near the tree
- Stunted growth
Poor Watering Practices
Always wait until the top layer (about two to four inches) of soil is dry before watering. To check, stick your finger into the soil underneath the canopy. Your goal is to give it the same amount of moisture as a wrung-out sponge.
Make sure you soak the soil at least two feet deep, where most of the root system lies. If your tree has yellowing foliage or keeps dropping green leaves, it’s probably receiving too much water.
Lack of Sunlight
All plants rely on photosynthesis to produce energy, and they need much of this energy to produce fruit. Mulberries prefer full sun exposure (at least six hours of direct sunlight daily) and ample space for their branches to spread out. If yours grows in an area surrounded by tall trees or structures, it might not get enough light.
Does your specimen receive enough nourishment from the surrounding soil? Watch out for common signs of poor nutrition, such as:
- Pale-looking leaves
- Yellowing leaves with dark green veins
- Random blotches on leaves
- Foliage color that appears mottled or smeared
You can try to remedy this with a slow-release fertilizer with a balanced NPK content (nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium). Each product uses different potency, so follow the instructions on the label.
If you want to avoid potential chemical burns from overfertilizing, you may use organic compost instead. Apply two inches every month or so under the tree’s drip line.
Not Enough Pollination
While almost every mulberry variety is self-pollinating, it doesn’t hurt to give them some extra help. Some effective strategies include:
- Growing companion plants
- Practicing beekeeping
- Conducting manual pollination
Manual pollination is arguably the easiest method. When your tree begins to bloom, use a cotton swab, toothbrush, or small paintbrush to lightly brush from flower to flower, transferring the pollen from one plant to the next. You can also do this for other fruiting trees on your property!
Get to the Root of the Problem By Seeking Expert Help
You don’t have to do this alone. Reach out to Island Tree Service and allow us to proficiently answer your question, “Why is my mulberry tree not fruiting?” Our veteran arborists can:
- Test the soil and suggest necessary amendments
- Identify diseases and pests
- Recommend an irrigation system for drought-prone areas
- Provide scheduled trimming
- And more