Possible Causes Of A Fruitless Mulberry With Yellow Leaves

Possible Causes Of A Fruitless Mulberry With Yellow Leaves

By: Heather Rhoades

Fruitless mulberry trees are popular landscaping trees. The reason that they are so popular is due to the fact that they are fast growing, have a lush canopy of dark green leaves, and are tolerant of many urban conditions; plus, unlike their cousins the red and white mulberry tree, they do not make a mess with their fruit. Due to their popularity, many people become alarmed when the mulberry tree leaves start turning yellow. There are many reasons fruitless mulberry tree leaves turn yellow.

Mulberry Leaf Spot

Mulberry leaf spot is caused by a type of fungi that attacks the leaves of the tree. Fruitless mulberry trees are particularly susceptible to it. Mulberry leaf spot can be identified by the leaves growing somewhat malformed, yellowed, and having black spots.

Mulberry leaf spot can be treated with fungicide. Even without treatment, fruitless mulberry trees can normally survive this disease.

The important thing to remember is that you will need to clean up and dispose of all the fallen leaves in the fall or winter. The mulberry leaf spot fungi overwinter on the fallen leaves and in the spring, the rain will splash the fungi back onto the tree, which re-infects it for the next year. Removing and destroying the fallen leaves will help prevent this.

Not Enough Water

Fruitless mulberry trees grow rapidly and their root systems can grow to a massive size. What this means is that what may have been enough water one year will not be enough water the next. When the tree does not get enough water, the mulberry gets yellow leaves. A mulberry tree may be particularly prone to this during periods of drought when the leaves will be transpiring water faster than the roots can take it up.

The best course of action is too water the tree deeply about once a week. Watering deeply is better for the tree than multiple shallow waterings. A deep watering will get the water down into the root system so that more of the roots will be able to take water up at the same rate as the leaves transpire it.

Cotton Root Rot

Cotton root rot is another fungus that can cause a mulberry to have yellow leaves. Cotton root rot is characterized by yellowing leaves followed by wilting. The leaves will not fall off the plant though.

Unfortunately, by the time the symptoms of cotton root rot are seen, the tree has most likely been damaged beyond repair and will most likely die within a year. Calling an arborist to look at the situation is advised due to the fact that cotton root rot will continue to spread in the soil and kill other surrounding plants and trees.

Hopefully your mulberry tree will recover from whatever problem is causing the mulberry tree leaves to turn yellow. Fruitless mulberry trees are amazingly resilient and yours should bounce back in no time at all.

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What is the life expectancy of a fruitless mulberry tree?

Also, how long does it take for a fruitless mulberry tree to grow? They do well in climates with long, hot summers and can withstand air pollution. They are fast-growing trees and can reach up to 35 feet tall in three years.

Moreover, what's wrong with my mulberry tree?

Fungal leaf spot disease can cause mulberry leaves to turn yellow and drop prematurely. The fungus often affects trees with poor air circulation. It is also more common in older trees or trees growing in shady areas however, trees growing in full sun can also become infected.

When should you prune fruitless mulberry trees?

The best time to pollard fruitless mulberries is in late fall or early winter when the deciduous tree is dormant because the cuts are less shocking to the trees. Fall pollarding also helps to ensure full growth during the active growing stage in spring and summer.

Sooty Canker

Sooty canker is a fungal disease known scientifically as Hendersonula toruloidea. It is one of the more common mulberry diseases and creates cankers or wounds in the tree trunk bark and branches and causes the foliage and woody tissues to wilt and then die back. It takes hold in winter but its effects are most pronounced in the summer when brown wet rotting spots appear on the branches, the leaves wilt, the bark splits and splotches of black soot-like mold become visible. When the mold builds up it will kill the surrounding wood disrupting the flow of water and nutrients in the tree and in extreme infestations kill the tree. It is opportunistic and seizes on stressed or weak trees or at pruning wound sites.

  • Mulberry, known botanically as the species Morus, are deciduous flowering and fruiting trees.
  • It is one of the more common mulberry diseases and creates cankers or wounds in the tree trunk bark and branches and causes the foliage and woody tissues to wilt and then die back.

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Comments (5)


How are you watering the plant? How often?

Have you fertilized it, and with what?

My first guess would be build-up of 'salts" from frequent shallow watering and too much fertilizer.


It does look like salt burn and water stress.
Is there any mulch around the base?

Q. fruitless mulberry

Our mulberry tree leaves are turning yellow, than shriveling up, weirdly. A number of the yellow leaves are falling off but the shriveled ones are not. It started on one side of the tree and is spreading across the canopy. The tree gets plenty of water. I really don't want to lose our tree. Anyone know what is wrong?

It may be pests like aphids or it could be a fungus. Both can cause these symptoms. Treat the tree with neem oil. Neem oil treats both pests and fungus, so which ever it is, it will take care of it. Get up as high as you can get it. It is systemic, so will be absorbed by the tree and will help protect the whole tree.

Why are my mulberry leaves turning brown?

Prune off any dead or dying branches at the point where they emerge from the trunk. Trim off infected or diseased branches at least 6 inches into healthy wood. Burn all trimmings immediately. Rake all tree bits, leaves, fruit and fallen branches from beneath the tree and dispose of them as well.

Subsequently, question is, how do you treat mulberry leaf spots? The leaves at the twig tips wilt and dry up. Some control is obtainable on young trees by pruning dead shoots in autumn and spraying with approved fungicides. Leaf Spots (fungi – Cercospora moricola, C. missouriensis, and Cercosporella spp.): The leaves of mulberry are spotted by these fungi in very rainy seasons.

Accordingly, do mulberry trees need a lot of water?

Mulberry trees should receive at least 1 inch of water each week for optimal growth and fruit production. If you receive this amount of rainfall in your area each week, you won't need to use the hose. During dry spells, fruit may drop prematurely if irrigation is insufficient.

Do mulberry trees lose leaves?

A: Mulberries have a tendency to drop their leaves in one or a few episodes. Some begin forming abscission zones during the heat and drought of summer, thinning their leaves to conserve water. These trees drop leaves over a prolonged period.

Watch the video: why plant leaves turn brown and dry on the ends