Mulberry Tree

Growing Zones in Ground: 8 - 11 / in Pots: 4 - 11

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Description

The Black Mulberry, or Morus Nigra, delivers sweet black Mulberries on an easy to grow tree. While many Mulberry Trees can reach heights of well over 60 feet, this variety will only get to about 30 feet tall, making it great for the home gardener. The fast growing Mulberry Tree is suited to grow in the ground in USDA Zones 7 to 11, or in a large pot then moved indoors in colder areas.

Mulberries are eaten fresh and used in salads, jellies, jams, and desserts. They are a favorite food of birds, the berries have been used to make dye, and the wood was traditionally used by the Seminole Indians to make hunting bows. Since they are fast growing, they are valued for making shade, privacy buffer zones, and windbreaks.

Mulberry Tree Care

In USDA Zones 7 to 11, you can plant your Mulberry Tree in the ground. Since they grow quickly, choose a location where the tree can grow without impeding power lines or walkways. Allow at least fifteen feet of space between the planted tree, and any structure, path, or other plants. Dig a hole twice the root ball’s size in well-drained soil, plant the tree without over-burying, and water in thoroughly. Mulch the ground with tree bark or leaves, and water once per week for the first few months.

Once established, a Mulberry Tree can survive on rainfall and groundwater with the exception of long periods of drought. Check the soil dampness and when the top soil is dry down to 3 inches, water your tree with drip irrigation, a soaker hose, or a slow sprinkler for deep watering. If growing in a pot, use a container with holes and allow for full drainage after and between watering.

Fruit & Harvesting

Mulberries are easy to pick and use. Ripe berries will actually fall off the branches with a light touch. You can use an old sheet or a tarp spread on the ground, and harvest many berries by shaking the limbs. You can also simply pick a few ripe Mulberries and eat them as you go.

Mulberries will only store fresh for a day or two, so eat them fresh, use them in a recipe, or make jelly, jam, or other preserves with the fruit. They are not suited to drying but can be used in almost any dessert that calls for other berries such as raspberries or blackberries. Mulberry Trees bloom in spring and the small fruits ripen in a month or two. New blooms will continue throughout the Spring and summer months, with a continual rotation of blooms, young fruit, and ripe berries filling the branches throughout the warmer times of year.

Growing Zones

Advice

Mulberry Trees do not require excessive trimming. You can prune them to keep the structure of the tree in check and to make for a more sturdy canopy. Be sure to remove pruned branches from the tree’s base. If you are planning to prune your Mulberry Tree, do so in late winter. Once the tree has been cut back, watch for new growth to appear, signalling the shade-making leaves and new blooms soon to follow.

Treat a container-grown Mulberry Tree in much the same way as you would a tree in the ground. Give them as much sunlight as possible, and be sure to allow drainage and some drying of the soil between watering. Fertilize Mulberry Trees in spring with fruit tree fertilizer according to manufacturer instructions, and your tree will reward you with large crops of tasty berries.

FAQs

Where can I grow a Mulberry Tree?

Mulberry Trees can be grown in the ground in USDA Zones to 7 to 11, and in pots in Zones 4 to 11. Remember that the berries can stain, so you may want to place them away from parking areas, sidewalks, or decks.

When do Mulberry Trees bloom?

Mulberry Trees bloom small flowers in spring, and the one to two inch fruits ripen within two months of setting.

Do you have to prune a Mulberry Tree?

No. Mulberry Trees do not require trimming in order to grow fruit. You can prune your Mulberry Tree in winter to keep it a manageable size or in a more balanced shape. Pruning can also help keep the branches strong to support large crops of fruit.

How can you tell if a Mulberry Tree crop is ripe?

Black Mulberries are very dark or black when ripe. Do a taste test to find ripe fruit, then pick those of the same size and color. Some people prefer the tart taste of berries that are not quite fully ripe, when they are dark red or burgundy.

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