What is a natural product I can use to prevent mulberry (or any tree) saplings from sprouting and coming back?
Hardiness Zone: 5a
By Nimminoodle from Peoria, IL
You can try a thick mulch of organic material on the ground, such as compost or leaf mold.
Sorry about the double post, but Nimminoodle emailed me and said her problem is severe, and mulch won't do the trick for her. After lots of searching on the web for the answer both yesterday and this morning, I came up with the idea of using nips to cut existing shoots to the ground, then covering with a couple of layers of heavy plastic and placing mulch on top to kill the existing shoots and prevent any new ones from coming up. This would normally work with almost all plants, but on one of the web searches I did, I don't know whether or not the person knew what they were talking about because I didn't read it on any other website, but they said that mulberry shoots can grow in complete darkness. But you might want to try it in a small area to see if it will work.
My daughter was planning to put plastic on a large hill to prevent anything from growing there, but I had heard you can put discarded carpet over the area and cover it with mulch instead of using plastic. It is more durable, thicker, and less prone to getting holes in it when you step on it. It worked for her weed problem and I believe, because of the close-woven backing that it would be maybe impossible for the mulberry shoots to grow through it. If you decide to try this, I would put the carpet backing side up so maybe it won't deteriorate as fast if it isn't in contact with the ground.
I also learned from my web searches that if you top a mulberry tree, you will usually end up with a profusion of shoots, so I guess either that is what caused this problem or it might be a future warning for you. (04/23/2009)
If natural methods do not work out, there is Powerforce Brush Killer Plus by Bayer Advanced. It kills small trees sprouting in lawns were they are unwanted. I've also used it to kill many wild violets at once.
The opened resealable label on the packaging says it kills mulberry trees. It says it can also be used to kill stumps. The bottle to look for is blue with a red and black label. This is carried at Lowe's. (04/24/2009)
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