Effortlessly Kill Mulberry Trees Without a Saw!

Introduction: Effortlessly Kill Mulberry Trees Without a Saw!

About: Photography teacher, woodworker, and general repair man

My backyard is surrounded in chain-link fence. Beyond my back yard is a small wooded area with tons of Mulberry trees. So, when birds eat the Mulberries and sit om my chain-link fence, I get trees which have grown to swallow my fence (and along my house).

I can't get to them with a saw to chop them down first due to all of the metal so I needed a good way to remove them without risk to the fence, saw, or anything else. This method does exactly that.

Supplies:

Bayer Advance Brush Killer Plus or Roundup Brush Killer

Floral tubes

Pruning Shears

Step 1: Fill Your Floral Tubes

This is a pretty basic step.

One trick that I used was to poke two small holes (1/4") on opposite sides of the foil lid sort of like how you would do for a can of pineapple juice. This allows you to control the opening that the fluid is pouring out of and vents the bottle so that you don't pour it all over yourself.

Note: wear gloves just in case.

Step 2: Cut a Branch, Install Your Tube

Again, it's pretty simple.

Cut a branch that is about 1/4" in diameter and doesn't have a leaf or branch fork any more than an inch away from the cut. Gently install the tube. If you press too hard, the branch will jam up into the tube and force most of the brush killer out.

It's advisable to get as close to the main trunk/stump as possible. If you are too far away, it will only kill that branch and the ones near it. If you can't get close to the trunk, get as close as you can and just use two or three tubes.

Step 3: Two and Three Weeks Later:

Within a couple of days you will start to see results. These photos are taken two and three weeks after one tube was put on the tree (there is a second tree in the middle of it that I didn't notice because I wasn't looking). Some of the leaves are already dried up and have fallen and the rest of the tree is clearly sick.

I have used this technique to take down trees up to five inches in diameter by using multiple tubes. Once they are dead, you can either trim them so that they are less unsightly or leave them.

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    12 Comments

    0
    ReallyRed430
    ReallyRed430

    Question 6 months ago on Step 3

    Hi. I have several questions. I'm plagued by mulberry, pokeweed and japanese barberry bushes/trees that have completely taken over my yard, bent my fence, even invaded my house foundation. Despite many cutbacks they just keep coming back and multiplying. Some are 10'+ with trunks over 5" wide. Questions:. First, at what time of year did you start this process? Does it work best at a certain time? Second, do you think it will work as well on pokeweed? Third, do you use the Brush Killer Plus at full strength concentrate or the premixed RTU version? Fourth, should this method keep my nearby hydrangeas safe? Lastly, any suggestions for the barberry? Obviously, because of the VERY sharp thorns, I can't get close enough to use the floral tubes. Ideas? Many thanks!

    0
    TwoDudesMakingStuff
    TwoDudesMakingStuff

    Reply 6 months ago

    I tested out just how big of a tree that you could kill with this method in the small woods behind my house. Ideally, if you can cut the trunk, you can then drill a bunch of big holes in it and then pack those holes with salt (old trick from my family's farm). However, yes, you can kill a sizeable tree by applying the tubes to multiple different sections of the tree where it branches out. It may take a couple of applications, but it will definitely kill the tree. I've done the process throughout the year but it doesn't work as well in the fall when the trees are shedding their leaves. In my location, I have about another two months of killing season. I used the concentrate straight out of the bottle (poke two holes in the foil cap opposite of each other so that you have a sort of spout and air relief and you'll be able to pour into the tubes with no problems.

    The brush killer will work on pokeweed as it is. Just follow the directions on the bottle and mix at normal strength. Pokeweed isn't too bad to get rid of. I'd just spray the barberry too.

    This method does leach a bit into the surrounding soil. I almost killed a lilac bush that was about two feet away from a tree but it came back. Interestingly, it has never killed any of the grass surrounding a tree though.

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    ReallyRed430
    ReallyRed430

    Reply 6 months ago

    Hi. Me again. Thanks so very much for getting back to me with so much good info. It brought to mind other questions. Mind if I pick your brain again? .

    Thanks for telling me about your lilacs. Sadly, the barberry is smack dab up against one of my beautiful white hydrangeas, so based on your experience with your lilacs that were 2 feet away, I'm not holding out much hope. I'd try to see if there was a way to somehow schniggle an old shower curtain in between the barberry and the hydrangea to cover and protect the hydrangea from the spray of the weed killer, but it sounds as though even if I could manage to do that somehow, the Bioadvance would still get to it through the roots. I'll just have to be prepared to lose it. This barberry simply MUST go -- it's partially over my railing and has overtaken my mailbox - don't want my poor postman full of scratches from the thorns. And it just now hit me that I'll probably lose the other hydrangea, too, since mulberries surround that one. I won't need to spray that end, but I guess I can expect seepage into its roots as the poison in the tubes surges through the roots of the mulberries. Darn it all!

    I forgot to mention that I also have Kudzu. Do you think the Bioadvanced BKP is best for that, too? Any chance something cheaper like 2,4D, glyphosate or something else might do the trick? Budget is very, very tight, i.e., groceries vs. weed killing paraphernalia. Need to keep the costs of this project as low as humanly possible.

    As to the bane of my existence, the Mulberry trees: I ordered the Bioadvanced BKP. Now I need to buy the tubes. I followed your link, but it led me to a type of tube that was different from the ones you used. Of course, that prompted me to search "floral tubes". Can't believe the number of choices -- so many different sizes, shapes, ml capacities, etc, which led me back to you..... Can you tell me the length and diameter/width of the tubes you used, and roughly how much concentrate you put in each one?

    As to the Mulberries that have grown into full-blown, cats-could-climb-them trunks: You mentioned drilling holes and pouring salt in them. Do you mean regular table salt? Epsom Salt? Rock salt? What size bit would you suggest? How deep do you think I should drill the holes? Should I pour a tiny bit of water on top of the salt in the holes to aid in distribution, or just let nature take its course? How often to repeat the process, or should one time do the trick?

    Please forgive me for being such a pain, asking so many questions. As I'm sure you can tell, I was never the gardener in the family. (I'm the animal person.) I could never spend the hours necessary to maintain a beautiful garden. My redhead's complexion sizzled and blistered way too quickly in the sun in those pre-SPF days. I could manage to grow from seed a mean Beefsteak and a semi-respectable crop of squash and peppers and take the 10 minutes a day to care for them, but beyond that, the rest was Mama's territory. Flowers, bushes, trees and a lawn with deep hills front and back, were always perfectly manicured ( hand push mower, no power). She never used herbicides, pulled by every weed by hand, making sure to get every bit of root. Then she became ill and bed-bound, and with caring 24/7/365 for Mom and my brother there was no way I could find the time to properly tend to her beloved yard. It was all I could do to see to the lawn mowing. I'm sure she's rolling in her grave at what has become of her perfect yard!

    BTW, I neglected to say "Wow! Congratulations! What a genius idea!" How wonderful that after all the cutting and sawing, over and over again, with everything coming back like Lazarus, you were able to come up with a relatively easy way to get rid of these terrible weeds once and for all. I'd love to know the thought process
    that brought you to this great workaround. However you did it, I'm so grateful for your terrific revelation. It will be so nice to be rid of this stuff once and for all. At my age, there's no telling how many more years I would be able to be out there insanely cutting ad infinitum, while every one of them continued to grow and flourish! These REALLY need to be GONE!!

    One last question (honest): Can you suggest a good pair of loppers and pruning shears? I've been using Mom's 40+ year old set of pruners and a borrowed set of loppers. I have small hands with some arthritis in them, which means that it takes me quite a while to get through even one branch, and I'm sore for many days after. Hoping you can suggest some tools to help me penetrate the branches with a little less effort.

    Thanks so much for your generosity in taking the time to share your knowledge and experience!




    0
    TwoDudesMakingStuff
    TwoDudesMakingStuff

    Reply 6 months ago

    I recal someone making a kudzu killer but I can't remember who. You could also probably mix the concentrate into a stronger solution. I know that I've had to do that on some ornamental ivy plants.

    Floral tubes are floral tubes for the most part. I have purchased the ones that I linked to since writing this and they work fine for this application.

    A bunch of 3/4"-1" holes that are a 3-4" deep filled with rock salt work fine. Make a fresh cut though if possible unless they are already flush to the ground. This was just something my granddad had me do as a kid on the farm to keep me busy. There isn't much of a science to it. I feel like one time did the trick.

    I'm a little guy so I got these loppers. I needed something with extra leverage because I'm not really that strong and they work great. For pruning shears, I have this but with your arthritis, you may want something like this instead.

    0
    Jobar007
    Jobar007

    2 years ago

    I like this technique because it prevents over-spray. There is no problem with killing things that you don't intend to kill. Well done!

    0
    TwoDudesMakingStuff
    TwoDudesMakingStuff

    Reply 2 years ago

    That is true. However, I did notice that on one tree that was up against my foundation and right next to a lilac bush (like, a foot a way), the lilac bush looked a little rough for about two weeks. It has sprung back to life and even flowered, albeit, about a month later than the others next to it.

    0
    Jobar007
    Jobar007

    Reply 2 years ago

    Sounds like it is pulling the toxin into the roots and then it is leached into the soil. I wonder if it would have had the same effect even with a suggested application through spray?

    0
    TwoDudesMakingStuff
    TwoDudesMakingStuff

    Reply 1 year ago

    I'm just following up on this almost year old post. This last spring, I applied the same weed killer extremely lightly to some weeds near the same variety of lilac bush. I didn't even soak the ground, just covered the leaves of the small weeds about 2ft from the bush which darkened the sandy soil the weeds were growing in but left a "shadow" where the spray was applied to the weeds. So, extremely light spray on a calm day. Almost completely killed the lilac outright.

    My guess is that the lilac bush that we were talking about grew to have direct contact with the roots of the mulberry because it grew just fine this year.

    0
    Jobar007
    Jobar007

    Reply 1 year ago

    It must have. Thanks for the follow up! I really appreciate it.

    0
    thmpsn
    thmpsn

    1 year ago

    Had a Mulberry growing right next to the house foundation, not anymore. The above method knocked it clean out. Hope it doesn't come back.

    0
    TwoDudesMakingStuff
    TwoDudesMakingStuff

    Reply 1 year ago

    Awesome!

    I had one small branch pop up this year between the fences but otherwise, everything I killed with this method last year has completely died, even the full blown trees with 3-4 inch trunks.

    0
    stechi
    stechi

    2 years ago

    You can eat and cook with mulberries. And if they are the white variety, silkworms can live on them. Then you can make silk, quite a good maker project ... not that I have tried personally. There was a mulberry tree where I grew up in England and it was protected by the authorities (not sure why).