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Trader - planted fall 2017


Four decades of Growing Good Food in Michigan's Upper Peninsula
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2023 - Hanging in there but certainly not vigorous or particularly thriving. It (and all others beyond the orchard fence) got little attention this year of early heat and drought, maybe watered once or twice is all. I'm just letting it go with no pruning hoping it will settle in and grow at some future point.

2022 - Same as last year. There is hope it will someday be a 'tree'. It's about 5 ft now. Keep thinking I should get another, maybe Northrop which has good reviews for hardiness, but forget to order.

2021 -  Trader continues doing fine, slowly getting larger. Doesn't seem to want to grow up so I tied and pruned a little to encourage a central stem/trunk.

2020 - The smaller Trader in main orchard died over winter. It had pruned off low side shoots in late fall to put hardware cloth around. That may have done it. Hard to say but sorry to lose it. The 2nd in the field did fine, put on growth and is healthy. I probably should plant a companion near it.

2019 - Some winterkill on branches but both did fine. Slowly growing.

2018 - Last fall I received two Trader Mulberries from Jim Walla, Northern Tree Specialties, North Dakota. He is propagating for sale this lone old very hardy mulberry growing in ND. Interesting background story! Both were extremely well packaged, in small grow-bags, very good roots. Planted 10-19-18 the day I received them. One (smaller of the two) in the main orchard NE corner, the 2nd in the field S-SE of hangar. Both grew, slowly but OK.

1988 - I planted a mulberry, a generic white mulberry, a little stick from the now long gone Bear Creek Nursery in Oregon. With little attention or care it managed to grow, winterkilling most winters but surviving and growing somehow. Old note says "fruit 1999, small juicy black mulberries. Late to leaf and blossom but quite a bit of fruit later years. Birds seem to enjoy it.". My experience then was almost all just apples and small fruit, things that were readily available and more easily edible. My "orchard" was small and my future passion years away. In 2009 I cut down this hardy little survivor to put an apple tree there. Lamenting now does no good but ... When I dug down to plant the new apple in 2010 (Haralson which has indeed blessed us with plenty of fruit) I found beautiful bright yellow mulberry roots. I replanted a two foot section in the field but it didn't grow. Another in the main orchard east of the Pea shrub. That one did send up a shoot. In 2012 I accidentally mowed it. It didn't regrow. I didn't know then how special that tree was as mulberries are not inclined to survive in our climate. Thirty years later, 2018, I finally planted another.

Copyright Susan Robishaw

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