Management of Mulberry/Tut (Morus alba) – Species Management

MANAGEMENT OF MULBERRY
  • Common Name:         Tut, Mulberry
  • Scientific Name:         Morus alba
o   DESCRIPTION
·       The crown is spreading and rounded.
·       The fruit is a berry containing 5 to 15 seeds.
·       The berries are white to pinkish to purple to red to black.
·       The fruiting period is from March to June.
·       The tree is native to Pakistan, China, Central Asia, and Afghanistan.
·       It has been planted in many other parts of the world.
o   SILVICULTURAL CHARACTERISTICS
·       It will coppice easily and can be grown in mixed stands.
·       It is frost hardy and can tolerate hot drought conditions.
·       It has numerous insects and pest enemies including porcupines, defoliators, powdery mildew, Root Rots and die back.
·       It is reproduced both from seed and by vegetative means.
·       It grows very fast and M.A.I. of 5 to 8.5 m3/ha/year is not uncommon.
·       Diameter of 60 cm is recorded for 20 years old trees.
·       It is important as silkworm feed.
·       This is a good farm forestry tree.
·       The sports goods, fodder, veneer, plywood, furniture, and shelterbelts.
·       Medicinal bark is a vermifuge and purgative, fruit is a laxative.
·       Mulberry is indigenous to China.
·       It ascends up to about 1200 meter altitude, confined mostly to stream beds or moist valleys.
·       It grows in areas with sub-tropical or mild temperate climate.
·       Ripen seeds are collected from the trees, never from the ground, due to insect attacked.
·       Dry seed is mixed with Ash or sand, put in sealed tins and stored in dry place, can be stored for two years.
·       Seed average 4,50,000 per kg.
·       Germination percentage is low 8-16% averaging 10% only.
·       Stratification of seed in moist sand for 30-40 days is reported to improve germination.
·       Soaking in cold water mixed with CAMPHOR for about a weak ensure uniform germination.
·       Dipping the seed in kerosene oil is suggested to protect it against insects.
o   METHODS OF PROPAGATION
·       Mulberry regenerates naturally through seed dispersed by water and birds, and by coppice.
·       Factors favorable for Natural Regeneration are:
·       i.    Adequate shade;
·       ii.   Freedom from tall and thick weeds;
·       iii. Adequate soil moisture.
·       vi.  Protection against browsing animals.
·       Because of its shade tolerance and fast rate of growth, Mulberry tends to be aggressive in irrigated plantations e.g. Changa Manga plantation.
o   ARTIFICIAL PROPAGATION
·       Direct sowing does not give good results.
·       It can be propagated either:
i.    By planting out nursery raised entire plants with a ball of earth or
ii.   stumps or
iii. Rooted branch cuttings.
·       Budding, grafting and layering can also be done to multiply valuable planting material.
·       It coppice vigorously, however coppicing power of trees bigger than 30 cm diameter is generally poor.
·       Mulberry pollards very well.
·       Mulberry is a valuable multi-purpose tree. Its timber is fine, close-grained.
·       Its chief demand is by the sports industry for hockey sticks, cricket bats, tennis and badminton rackets etc.
·       Its twigs are used for basket making.
o   SILVICULTURAL SYSTEM
·       Irrigated mixed plantation are generally worked under coppice with STANDARD SYSTEM; standards being sissoo.
·       Since most of the regeneration is of seedling origin, the system is more in the nature of Two-STOREYED HIGH FOREST.
·       Coppice rotation range from 18 to 22 years are those for standards 54 to 66 years, three times the coppice rotation.
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