It’s a medium-sized deciduous tree that bears small, sweet flowers in the summer. The red mulberry, Morus rubus, comes from eastern North America. The white mulberry, Morus alba, comes from China as its native home. There was a time when this tree was only found in China. Now it is grown all over the world, in places like the Americas, Europe, Asia, and Africa.
If the conditions are right, mulberry trees are easy to grow. Mulberry trees are easy to grow from seeds and rooted semi-hardwood branch cuts. This is clear from how many seeds they produce on their own.
You can put seeds made from dried fruit that you pick from the tree. Because these plants grow so quickly and can get too big for most pots very quickly, they don’t usually do well in containers.
Pick a sunny spot with soil that doesn’t stay soggy to put the seed or cutting. Make a hole twice as deep and twice as big as the root ball. After that, put the seed or cutting in the hole and cover it with dirt. Water the plant a lot during its first growth season.
Mulberry bushes don’t need much care and don’t need to be pruned very often. So, trim in early winter to stop the tree from growing too much and then in late fall or winter to keep it in the shape you want. Use an appropriate fertilizer in the spring to help plants grow. Use a windbreak to keep the tree safe from strong winds. When the berries are ready, pick them.
Five types of mulberry bushes exist, and here are the three most likely to be found in North America:
Many fruit trees produce more fruit when they get more light, but mulberry plants can do well in both full sun and partial shade.
Mulberry trees can grow in clay, loam, or sandy soil as long as the soil conditions allow for good draining. From normal to slightly acidic is the pH range that the trees can handle.
After planting your mulberry tree, water it fully and often; for the first year, you should give it two to three gallons of water per week. This will help the roots grow strong. Once mulberry trees are established, they can handle short droughts. However, long dry times can lower fruit production or make unripe berries fall off early.
Fertilizer should be applied to mulberry trees once a year for best results, but they usually do fine without it. To fertilize your tree once in late winter, use a balanced 10-10-10 mix, making sure to use 0.5 kg of fertilizer for every inch of the trunk’s width.
This tree doesn’t need regular trimming, but you should cut off any damaged or crossed shoots in late fall or winter, when the tree is dormant, to keep the sap from dripping off.
No one or any animal has been poisoned by mulberry bushes, but some parts of the tree can irritate the skin. There is a chemical called glycoside in unripe mulberries that can make you sick, make you throw up, or irritate your stomach. It is also possible to get gut pain from eating a lot of mulberry leaves. The tree’s leaves and other parts have latex in them, which is a milky white sap that is slightly poisonous to humans and can make their skin itch, rash, and even boil in the worst cases.
Managing mulberry fruit trees’ growth well is important for their health and output as a whole. To control their growth without hurting their health, it’s important to prune them correctly, use growth inhibitors wisely, and change how much water and food they get.
Mulberry plants do best in soil that drains well, is moist but not soaked, and has a pH of 6.5 to 7.5. Putting in compost or other organic waste can be good for you.
When it’s not too cold, plant mulberry trees in early spring or late fall.
Between June and August, you can pick the berries from your mulberry tree. As a general rule, the darker the fruit, the better it tastes. You can either pick the mulberries by hand, which can be very time-consuming, or you can put a net or old sheet under the tree and shake it. Then you can pick out the fruit that hasn’t been damaged and carefully make the berries into jelly or jam. You can also freeze the berries and use them whenever you want.
When farmers see how messy and invasive mulberry trees can be, they often want to get rid of them. Small pieces of the root can quickly grow back even if the tree is cut off at ground level and the trunk is dug up and taken away. Cutting down the tree and digging up as many of its roots as you can is the best thing to do. Then, use a strong, non-selective pesticide (like glyphosate) on any new green growth that appears.
Some landscaping cultivars of white mulberry trees can live up to 100 years, but most only live 25 to 50 years. Most red mulberry trees don’t live longer than 75 years.
The leaves of a red mulberry tree are dull green and 4 to 7 inches long, while the leaves of a white mulberry tree are shiny green and 3 to 4 inches long. When white mulberry fruit is ready, it can be white, red, or even purple. When it’s ready, red mulberry fruit is a dark red color that can almost be black.
Mulberry trees have thick, round crowns and are about average size. They can be used as understory trees in large yards. It’s best to put the tree somewhere out of the way so that people won’t step on the fruit.
This way, the birds can get the fruit without getting dirty. You don’t want this tree to hang over your patio, road, or sidewalk. Choose a sterile cultivar that doesn’t make fertile seeds or fruit if you want to use mulberry as a small shade tree in places that get a lot of foot traffic.