Mulberry Tree: How to Grow and Care For Them

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Mulberry trees are popularly known as ornamental shade trees, also famous for their profuse edible fruits. What’s more, mulberries can be made into preserves, pies, and flavorsome wine.

How to Grow Mulberry Trees?

Mulberry trees consist of small, unremarkable blooms that get converted to plentiful fruits which look similar to a slender blackberry. Remember, mulberries start falling from trees only after maturing.

Mulberry seeds should be planted in brimming sun and rich draining soil such as deep loam. Also, no less than 15 feet (5 m.) distance must exist in between the fresh plantation. Despite its particular sunlight and soil type requirements, mulberries are known to thrive in part shade and a variety of soils with high drainage properties.

How to Grow Mulberry Trees

Gardeners can benefit from this berry-based tree since it can easily be relocated, is salt-tolerant, and is perfect for erosion control.

We suggest not planting them near a sidewalk unless you don’t mind the possibility of squashed berries. Once the tree is developed, there is only little additional mulberry tree care required.

Bonus Read: Check out our reviews of the 6 best lawn sweepers to buy in 2022. Even better, there’s a handy buying guide in there for first-time buyers.

Choosing a Proper Location

What if you want one of these fine trees in your yard?

We’d say good choice!

Mulberries escalate and expand quickly, making them a wise choice for locations where you hope to establish a berry-cum-wooded area.

Considering the habitual conditions of the mulberry trees, reseeding can be done with minimal effort.

This is why we suggest choosing a planting spot far away from underground utility lines or septic tile. You don’t want to complicate the reseeding process unnecessarily. The roots grow fast and are relatively timid yet possessing the capability to wreak havoc on artificial underground systems.

Choosing a Proper Location

The red and black mulberry species grow up to 35 feet tall and are reckoned to live for as much as 100 years at least, while the white mulberries can grow over 70 feet tall!

While selecting a spot in your backyard, do your best to locate where the tree will be able to thrive placidly while it grows to its full potential. Too much root disturbance or sharing of nutrients will curb its growth in the long run.

Mulberries tend to evolve and flourish best in locations that get moderate moisture & that drain well.

The black mulberry specially indulges and grows well in alkaline soils only.

Also, since mulberries are found in abundance alongside river beds, it makes sense to amplify the soil with little sand, loam, or clay to provide it with its prevailing conditions.

All in all, mulberries can blossom well in partial and full sun. A little something to always keep in mind is that as and when these mulberry trees grow, they block out the sunlight from one another. Thus, the spacing is imperative to a bountiful harvest.

While planting a sapling, it’s suggested that you wait until the frost season is entirely over. Furthermore, read the seed packet instructions carefully and accurately to understand the required amount of soil depth to plant the tree.

Planting Mulberry Trees From Cuttings

As for people who have mulberry trees near their homes, you’ll be happy to know that you can plant cuttings from well-developed mulberry trees. We highly recommend you only extract 8 to 12 inch long branches from a well-built tree at its standard pruning period. Keep in mind that there should be at least three buds on each stem or branch.

Planting Mulberry Trees From Cuttings

The cuttings of the well-developed trees are then supposed to be buried right away by completely covering them in the soil at a depth of 3 to 4 inches, preferably in June or July.

To keep them moist for at least a month, make sure to water them daily or when you spot dryness. This procedure will then lead to the bud forming into shoots, which can be taken out and planted as smaller, new trees.

Trimming: Less At The Start, More At The End

Compared to other trees, the mulberry tree is the simplest to take care of because it requires minor trimming during dormant months. We recommend removing only the most damaged branches and never cutting trees during evident sap production phases.

Are you confused about how to recognize the beginning of the sap production phase?

If you spot areas on the tree where a thick white liquid is oozing out, wait to prune until this oozing has ended.

Trimming Less At The Start, More At The End

Once mature, make sure to keep the mulberry tree in check because its transition from a delightful and organized growing pattern to a nuisance forming tree is rapid. Since these trees naturally spread far and wide and can grow in between sidewalks, they have been titled “weed” in many DIY gardening communities. This could be problematic once the tree has aged!

If these “weed” saplings are not pulled off at the initial stages, their root systems will damage any other plantations in their path. This could be detrimental to your alternative gardening efforts as well.

Attributes of Mulberry Trees

Mulberry trees have redeeming qualities, and one of the most outstanding is the minimal care they require.

Being a multipurpose tree, it’s utilized worldwide for catering to diversified needs such as food, fodder, fuel, and fiber.

It has also earned superfood status in European countries, owing to the presence of nutritious bioactive compounds in fruits. These compounds influence brain health, heart health, blood quality, and so much more.

Here is a brief description of the four types of commonly grown mulberry trees.

Four Types of Mulberry Trees

Four types of mulberry trees are dominant in the United States. These include:

Black mulberry

The most flavourful berries come from the black mulberry (Morus nigra). These trees are native to western Asia, where it’s been cultivated for so long that their precise origination is unknown.

Black mulberry is mainly characterized by the uniform hairy lower surface of its leaves.

Black mulberry

Speaking of the three types of mulberries, black and red mulberries have an exquisite aroma and a flavourful essence. On the contrary, white mulberries have a rather bland taste.

Red mulberry

The red mulberries (Morus rubra) leaves are alternate and noticeably rough on the upper surface. Moreover, these trees are native to North America, where they thrive in deep, rich soils found along bottomlands and streams.

Additionally, since red mulberries are edible and quite sweet, birds widely seek the berries in spring and early summer (especially in North America). Thus, if you want to make your backyard a natural bird-feeding paradise and attract eye-catching bird species, you must plant a chunk of mulberry trees.

Bonus Read: Want to expand your vegetable garden? Consider skimming through our guide on how to grow red onions.

White mulberry

White mulberries (Morus alba tatarica) were imported from China and introduced into colonial America for silkworm production. The art of silk-making was widespread and entirely famous in India, Japan, and Europe. In hopes of procreating a silk-making industry in North America, entrepreneurs and visitors from the latter continent brought white mulberry trees back to their mainland.

White mulberry

Keep in mind; the white variety acquires its label from the color of its flowers. Moreover, its fruit can be pink, purple, black, or white.

Pro Tip: White mulberries can reduce the growth of cancer cells while also lowering your blood sugar levels.

Paper mulberry

Also known as Broussonetia papyrifera, is popularly acknowledged for its infectious ability to adapt and spread in most climatic conditions across the United States. It was imported from Asia, while its name is derived from its ability to make paper and cloth. This particular species consists of a separate male and female flower.

Paper mulberry

It was largely cultivated for food, fiber, and medicinal purposes in Asia and other Pacific islands.

Note: Out of the three different species, some cultivars are wind-resistant.

The growth and age of all the species of the mulberry trees are classified accordingly:

White mulberry trees can go to 80 feet (24m.) tall, while red mulberries can grow to 70 feet (21m.) tall and survive for around 75 years. On the other hand, black mulberries grow till 30 feet (9m.) in height and live up to 100 years.

How To Take Adequate Care Of A Mulberry Tree?

Since these trees are sufficiently drought-tolerant, it isn’t too troublesome to nurture this hardy species. Additionally, it benefits a tonne from some irrigation during the dry season – mainly because mulberry roots store water and slowly distribute it as the dry season advances.

How To Take Adequate Care Of A Mulberry Tree

They usually do well without additional fertilization. An application of all-purpose synthetic fertilization once per year can help keep them healthy. What’s best, mulberries are also substantially free from pests and diseases.

Bonus Read: We want all DIY gardeners to continue their loving relationship with nature! Here is a list of 13 different types of lilies, that too with pictures.

Tips & Hacks While Pruning Mulberry Trees

Follow these simple guidelines:

⦁ Always carry clean and sharp tools to avoid infecting your plants.
⦁ Use a hand pruner for cuts under 6 inches (15 cm.) and loppers for reductions of 1 to 2 inches (2.5-5cm.)
⦁ Using a saw for cuts of 1 inch (2.5cm.) is generally recommended.

An ideal time to prune is when the tree is dormant, as it avoids excessive bleeding. After that, only occasional pruning of mulberry trees is advisable to remove dead or overcrowded branches.

Mulberry Tree in a Pot?

Mulberry trees grow rapidly, and if taken care of properly, their root systems remain compact. This makes them perfect for containers or pots.

Mulberry Tree in a Pot

While figuring out how to grow mulberries in containers, let’s walk you through some dwarf mulberry tree facts!

Dwarf Mulberry Tree: Facts

By regularly pruning after fruiting, a mulberry tree can be grown comfortably and kept small at a maximum height of 2 to 6 feet.

Consistently pruning mulberries also encourages the plant to produce berries all over, resulting in a rich harvest throughout the growing season.

Mulberries can either be male, female, or bisexual. DIY gardeners growing the berries from seed are more likely to get either a male or female. In comparison, mulberries sold for commercial purposes are bisexual or self-pollinating.

Dwarf Mulberry Tree

The plant starts blooming during early spring, which leads to the growth of condensed crops with massive juicy berries, almost covering the size of a big blackberry.

Did You Know: The silkworm’s favorite food is white mulberry foliage, which has been cultivated in China for over 5,000 years specifically for this purpose.

Since Mulberry trees have long flexible branches, it becomes ideal for weaving them into baskets, fences, and screens.

The number one reason gardeners over the world love growing mulberry trees are for their fruit. The delectable berries can be eaten fresh, dried, frozen, or made into pies, jams, and desserts.

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Container-sized Mulberry Pots!

Total sun exposure is a primary aspect for successfully growing your mulberry tree in pots. A compelling fact is that these trees do well with wet roots, but as mentioned earlier, it also becomes drought tolerant once adequately established.

Always remember to use a good quality potting medium altered with some nutrient-rich compost. It’s mandatory to water and feeds the tree at regular intermissions during the growing season with an all-purpose fertilizer & liquid seaweed.

Container-sized Mulberry Pots!

After watering, allow the surface of the soil to dry and then saturate the soil. At this point, you can prune ever-bearing varieties at any time to cut short their growth.

As stated earlier, mulberries have little to no issue with foliage or root diseases. They are, however, susceptible to spider mites, whiteflies, and mealybugs.

Verdict: Beware Of Berry-stained Sheets

All the mulberry species grow in abundance, leading to large clusters of tiny fruits that look like a panicle of grapes.

As mentioned above, the mulberry fruits are a sweet delight to a large variety of birds. You can be a witness to this fact if you have mulberry trees in your neighborhood.

Gardeners will also want to guard the outdoor clotheslines during these weeks. Many clean, white bedsheets have been destroyed by a bird that feasted on mulberries earlier in the day!

The berries themselves can get too messy for some and often leave a permanent stain on the carpets at home. Thus, since fruitless mulberry trees don’t create a fuss, they’ve been in demand more than ever presently. More than all, they have no harvesting phase and are merely used for the aesthetic enhancement of any backyard or flower garden.

Bonus Read: Season time for woodcutting is approaching? In dire need to find a convenient method to gather firewood? Invest in a kinetic log splitter and save yourself the hassle.

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