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Plant Diseases/bark peeling

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Question
My Non-mulberry are over thirty years old and where the bark is peeling the branch dies. I have seen large bore holes on other branch as well. What can I do?

Answer
Dear Joyce, Thank you for your question.  Fruitless mulberry trees make amazing shade trees, but unfortunately they are not very long lived.  Their lifespan ranges from about 25 years to a maximum of 50, although that is rare.  Your tree is approaching the end of its lifespan.  It will tend to decline from now on, although you can probably get some more years out of it.  Any place where the bark is peeling off is a branch that you should prune.  When the bark comes off all the way around a branch or trunk (known as circling) that branch will die.  If it goes all the way around the trunk, the tree is doomed and will die fairly quickly.  However, for problems due to borers, there is a great solution.  You can spray the trunk and branches with Ferti-Lome Borer, Bagworm, Tent Caterpillar, and Leafminer Spray.  Quite a mouthful, but this product contains Spinosad, an organic ingredient which is excellent for killing bugs that you can't locate (other than the holes they leave behind).  Spray the trunk thoroughly with the spray about every week or so, and it will kill the borers.  Prune off any circled branches on the tree.  When the tree becomes too much work, is obviously declining at a faster rate, or the trunk becomes circled, I would go ahead and remove it.  Sorry for the bad outcome on this tree, but I hope this information helps you.  Let me know if you have further questions.  Good luck, Melissa

Plant Diseases

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Melissa Johnston

Expertise

Plant diseases, landscaping, tropical plants, roses, herbs, plant care, grafting, horticulture, plant identification, anything about plants I can likely answer.

Experience

35 years experience in various plant businesses, 1984 Certified Texas Master Gardener.

Organizations
Master Gardener Association of Texas charter member

Publications
none as of yet, but I have a plant q&a book I am in process of submitting.

Education/Credentials
Magna cum laude graduate of Texas A&M, 1978

Awards and Honors
Plant growing awards, highest grade for Texas Master Gardener graduates.

Past/Present Clients
Past member of Allexperts.com and was very highly rated. Owned landscape company in the past, Almost Paradise, and was very successful despite little equipment, no help, and no advertising. Lived well for two years until 9/11.

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