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Anyone grow Mulberry?

 
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These tiny colorful berries are good source of iron and vitamin C.
Mulberry.jpeg
[Thumbnail for Mulberry.jpeg]
 
Posts: 62
Location: California Zone 10b / Wyoming Zone 3b
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My grandmother's farm in northern Missouri had quite a few of them.  Does anyone know varietals that will work in zone 3b?
 
master pollinator
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I planted a Persian Mulberry this Spring and plan to plant more varieties in the Fall.  
 
gardener
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Alex Arn wrote:My grandmother's farm in northern Missouri had quite a few of them.  Does anyone know varietals that will work in zone 3b?



If any would do it it would be Northrop (sometimes spelled Northrup). I believe it's good to zone 3. That's its rating but I would definitely protect it when young

https://www.treepeony.com/products/northrop-mulberry
 
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I planted one last year, seems happy despite our extreme soil. Not big enough to fruit yet.
 
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I had a couple on my old property growing naturally. I have harvested them in the past and made a decent jelly but have had no success doing anything else with them like dehydrating. The lack of flavor and delicate buggy fruit would keep me from growing them intentionally, but the birds (including chickens) love them.
 
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I love Mulberries! Grew up eating them. We had a couple in a field near my house and every June we would sneak out and munch away. I am surprised by the people that don't know you can eat them.  There was a tree on the edge of the parking lot where I use to work and I was so excited about it. Every person I mentioned it too had no idea what I was talking about.  Oh well, more for me !!!lol    I would really like to grow some white ones so I could try and raise some silkworms but they are not allowed in my area. People are afraid they will cross with the native varieties and harm them. I wonder if you could grow them in a giant pot and keep them indoors or in a greenhouse?  
 
Alex Arn
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James Landreth wrote:

Alex Arn wrote:My grandmother's farm in northern Missouri had quite a few of them.  Does anyone know varietals that will work in zone 3b?



If any would do it it would be Northrop (sometimes spelled Northrup). I believe it's good to zone 3. That's its rating but I would definitely protect it when young

https://www.treepeony.com/products/northrop-mulberry


Thanks for the tip.  Ill plant some next spring.
 
Lyda Eagle
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would have been good if I had put this in my comment before .... sorry

Illinois Everbearing Mulberry
grows in zone 4 and can take temps to -25F
so it might be one you could try.
 
pollinator
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Maria,   I have a bunch but they are all immature.   I have a couple that are 6ft but no berries yet.  I can't believe those little mulberries have berries already.  Nice
 
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As I understand it, red mulberries and white mulberries are both native and highly resistant to popcorn disease.  However, they hybridize vigorously, and the hybrids are supposed to be (mostly) susceptible to popcorn disease.  Also, a lot of nurseries sell hybrids without saying so.  I have a whole line of mulberries and would like to hear feedback on this topic.
 
pollinator
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Alex Arn wrote:My grandmother's farm in northern Missouri had quite a few of them.  Does anyone know varietals that will work in zone 3b?



I didn't know this until recently when I was looking up some information about mulberries, but there is only ONE native mulberry in the USA -- red mulberry (Morus rubra). According to the USDA Plant database it probably won't do well in your area. It more or less stops in a north-south line from South Dakota to Texas. However, if you don't mind going to a non-native species, the white mulberry (Morus alba) has been introduced successfully in your neck of the woods and beyond. I don't know what the quality of the fruit is, but you could probably find cultivars easily enough through a nursery.
 
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I have 2 young morris nigra (black mulberries) growing in my yard (here in Australia just called ‘black’, and it’s probably the ‘English’/‘Persian’ cultivar). The second is a dwarf and the berries are growing for the first time with the start of spring. Both produce fruit even at just 2 years old and they develop on the new growth, so you prune as much as you like and will get new berries each time new shoots grow! What’s wonderful is that the berries ripen at different times, so you can go to eat fresh berries every single day for months. As the tree grows bigger you’ll have more than you can handle (provided the birds don’t eat them all); it’s like having dozens of blackberry plants on a single tree.

Black mulberry is the best flavoured by far. My son thinks they’re blackberries. Most Australians have fond memories of very stained red hands and clothes from devouring them straight off the tree. With smaller and smaller plot sizes this has now unfortunately become an uncommon childhood experience, but I was determined my children get to experience it even though we only have a pretty small yard.

White mulberry (Morris Alba) has no flavour when fresh. At best it tastes like just sugar. It does dry the best though, and in Iran dried white mulberries are sold as a common dried fruit and if you’re a type of person who likes the taste of dried fruit you’ll love having them. I’ll grow one in a wine barrel one day, just for drying them. They grow into very large trees so I don’t have ground space; wish I did though.

I wish I could taste red mulberry (Morris rubra), but it’s an American native and they don’t sell it in Australia. I assume it won’t taste as good as black mulberry given that most people in the US have no interest in it.

Along with the white I’ll also buy a red shahtoot or Pakistan mulberry. Again it’s not as good as black, and has been described as less juicy and almost vegetable-like, but I’m curious anyway and going to try.

Mulberries are very strong trees and prolific producers. Anyone who has the space should have at least a black mulberry tree.
 
Deb Stephens
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Tim Kivi wrote:

I wish I could taste red mulberry (Morris rubra), but it’s an American native and they don’t sell it in Australia. I assume it won’t taste as good as black mulberry given that most people in the US have no interest in it.



I beg to differ on this one Tim! Red mulberries are delicious--way better than blackberries in my opinion. They are sweet and juicy and like the black mulberry, they ripen over a long season so you can eat them fresh for a very long time. I think the reason most Americans don't eat them (unless, like me, they grew up eating them) is that the majority of my fellow citizens don't even know they exist. Most Americans think food comes from a grocery store. If it isn't there or in some fast food restaurant, they don't see it as food. Sad but true.
 
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Just planted one that was given to the university. Not sure the cultivar. I remember eating them when we lived in Kansas. Hoping to get a few more to fill in a bit.
 
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Mulberries are one of the three things that are tied for first place on my list of favorite fruits.

I have several of them growing wild on my property. They don't fruit every year, though, so I'll be adding some named cultivars eventually. I have noticed that the wild ones bear fruit depending more on stress than on the size of the tree. I've gotten berries off a tiny little sapling 2 feet tall, but that sapling only bore fruit the year after it survived a huge drought.

At one of my old jobs, there was an area behind the building that had run wild. The mulberries back there were covered in big, sweet berries every summer. I'd sometimes sneak in on the weekends just to pick them. When I'm ready to plant more trees, I'll probably grab a few cuttings from those, to see if it was the tree or the growing conditions that made them so productive.
 
Deb Stephens
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Ellendra Nauriel wrote:Mulberries are one of the three things that are tied for first place on my list of favorite fruits.

I have several of them growing wild on my property. They don't fruit every year, though, so I'll be adding some named cultivars eventually. I have noticed that the wild ones bear fruit depending more on stress than on the size of the tree. I've gotten berries off a tiny little sapling 2 feet tall, but that sapling only bore fruit the year after it survived a huge drought.

At one of my old jobs, there was an area behind the building that had run wild. The mulberries back there were covered in big, sweet berries every summer. I'd sometimes sneak in on the weekends just to pick them. When I'm ready to plant more trees, I'll probably grab a few cuttings from those, to see if it was the tree or the growing conditions that made them so productive.




I've noticed that mulberries are inconsistent fruiters (is that a word? ) as well. I've got one tiny tree--only about 5' tall when it started bearing (it's about 15' now) and several others that are much larger that have never born fruit. They are everywhere around here on our property and in the national forest next door, but I only find a few that consistently bear fruit and they come in every size, shape and condition. I'm not sure what the factor is that promotes fruiting but I sure wish I did so I could get more of them to fruit!
 
Ellendra Nauriel
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Deb Stephens wrote:
I've noticed that mulberries are inconsistent fruiters (is that a word? ) as well. I've got one tiny tree--only about 5' tall when it started bearing (it's about 15' now) and several others that are much larger that have never born fruit. They are everywhere around here on our property and in the national forest next door, but I only find a few that consistently bear fruit and they come in every size, shape and condition. I'm not sure what the factor is that promotes fruiting but I sure wish I did so I could get more of them to fruit!




If stress is the key, then swatting the branches with something might help. It sounds ridiculous, and I haven't tried it myself, but a friend who runs an orchard swears by it. She uses a rolled-up newspaper, but I've found other accounts of people using baseball bats, or just random fallen branches they found. I'd be hesitant to use something too solid, because it might do too much damage. But the trick is to do just enough damage to the tips of the branches, so it signals the plant that its in danger. Plants respond to threats by propagating, which in fruit trees means bearing fruit.

My friend uses this trick on trees in the orchard that are old enough to flower, but for whatever reason haven't started yet. She's used it on trees that were up to 10 years past their official bearing age, and every time they flowered the following year.

Again, I haven't tried this myself. But its on my list of things to test out someday.
 
Deb Stephens
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Ellendra Nauriel wrote:
If stress is the key, then swatting the branches with something might help. It sounds ridiculous, and I haven't tried it myself, but a friend who runs an orchard swears by it. She uses a rolled-up newspaper, but I've found other accounts of people using baseball bats, or just random fallen branches they found.



Sounds so MEAN! I'm not sure I could do that--I would feel so bad about it afterward.
 
Tim Kivi
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Deb Stephens wrote:I beg to differ on this one Tim! Red mulberries are delicious--way better than blackberries in my opinion. They are sweet and juicy and like the black mulberry, they ripen over a long season so you can eat them fresh for a very long time.



In that case it’s a no-brainer: people should grow all three (black, red, white)! And a few different cultivars of each is even better.

Black mulberry has no problem producing yields every single year. So if you want reliability then consider a black.

The only two problems of mulberries here are that when birds eat the berries they scatter red poop on peoples’ properties after eating them. The other is that mulberries have invasive roots systems, so keep them away from plumbing, paving and foundations. But that’s what makes them such tough trees.
 
pollinator
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My plan is to plant a Pakistani mulberry, they seem to have large fruit, on a particularly steep slope point to help hold up the hillside. I'm not sure that I've ever eaten one, but that's okay, if I don't like them, somebody, something will. I'm trying to balance my food needs with the wildlife.
 
Tim Kivi
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About the only room I have left in my yard now is for half wine barrel planters by the brick wall. I think i’ll just fill them with different mulberry cultivars because they’re easy to grow, provide terrific shade in the summer, and they produce a lot.

I made a mistake earlier on the three species of mulberry. The three types are morus nigra, morus rubra, and morus macroura. It refers to the wood, not the colour of the berries.
 
pollinator
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I found a mulberry growing on my fence line.  Maybe in a year or two i can have a taste.  From the leaf it looks to be a rubra hybrid.
I have ordered a Miss Kim From England's Nursery which is my preferred source for alternative fruit trees.
 
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