mali
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Joined: Thu May 04, 2006 8:18 pm
Location: San Jose, California

How to deal with icky tree droppings?

Forgive me if this isn't the right place; I've tried to search but not sure what key phrases to use....

We've just moved into a house with a lovely backyard and three huge trees. Unfortunately, we found that one of the trees drops tons of little black berries that stain cement, canvas, wood, and just about everything else in the yard. I've been thinking of putting up a bit of netting that would catch the berries and send them to one side of the yard, but that seems awfully awkward. I wonder if anyone else has dealt with a problem like this? I'm not a total treehugger, but anything that would damage the tree is not really an option for me....

Help?

opabinia51
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Location: Victoria, BC

Sounds like it might be a mullberry tree. Yes, hopefully it isn't to big because the best thing for you to do would be to move the tree. Mullberries are great because they attract birds that eat the fruit.

If the tree is small enough that you can move it and you really want to do is now, make sure that first, prune the tree back by one third, dig up as much of the root system as possible and plant it in a hole that is as large as the hole that it was taken out of. Place some bark mulch in the new hole with the roots such that they can grow easily and give it a weekly dose of liquid root stimulator once a week for the spring and summer.

(Phosphorous is the root stimulating element.)

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Grey
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Location: Summerville, GA, Zone 7a

I have seen some kind of netting in a nursery catalog meant to catch berries. We get so many, I can't recall which one - but I'd try a web search and see what you find. I can't think of a better option, unfortunately. :(

mali
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Joined: Thu May 04, 2006 8:18 pm
Location: San Jose, California

Mulberry, huh? Hmm....

opabinia51 wrote:Sounds like it might be a mullberry tree. Yes, hopefully it isn't to big because the best thing for you to do would be to move the tree. Mullberries are great because they attract birds that eat the fruit.
Wow, thanks for the quick response. Unfortunately, the tree is huge, about thirty feet high, so moving isn't much of an option for us right now.

The naming as mulberry helps though -- several things match up-- its attractiveness to birds (we have lots and I didn't realize why! unfortunately, though, the bird droppings stain the yard too). The fruit itself doesn't quite match though - ours are small individual berries, and the pics I find show mulberries as multi-part fruit.....

*sigh* I guess I'll look for netting....
Thanks so much,
s.

mootube
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It does sound like mulberry and I'm quite jealous of you as my tree is only a few feet tall. One of the best ways to harvest mulberries is to lay down a sheet under the branches and shake the fruit from them. This may be a bit hard with a tree that size but it could prove as a solution if only a section of the surrounding area is affected by staining.

Personally, I'd be worrying about how not to waste all the fruit.

Edit: I didn't notice where you said that the berries didn't look like mulberries. I suppose this post can be disregarded then but at least I'm less jealous. I don't know what your tree could be, maybe some tall growing elder? Haven't really got a clue but please let me know if you find out. Cheers.

mali
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Joined: Thu May 04, 2006 8:18 pm
Location: San Jose, California

not a mulberry...

mootube wrote: I don't know what your tree could be, maybe some tall growing elder? Haven't really got a clue but please let me know if you find out. Cheers.
Wow, can't believe you're jealous....if you only knew....

But, fortunately, with time the droppings stopped...so it's a seasonal problem, which is much easier to deal with.

And I'm pretty sure it's not a mulberry, which would at least have the benefit of fruit. From my websearches at various agri sites, it's some kind of dogwood.

Thanks for your note. Best wishes with your baby mulberry!
m.

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