This post provides mulberry tree information to include varieties, propagation, edibility, and recipes for this medicinal tree.
Mulberry (Morus) is a tree that produces edible fruit and has medicinal qualities. It comes in white, red, and black varieties. A fact that I did not know until researching this article is that mulberry leaves are the sole food source of the silkworm.
White – Can grow up 80-ft tall and is more cold hardy than red or black. It is native to eastern China and the fruit is generally very sweet but often lacking in needed tartness and ripens in late spring. They have roughly oval, toothed, alternate leaves 2-6 inches long.
Red – Can grow up to 70ft tall and is native to eastern Untied States. The fruit ripens in late spring. They have roughly oval, toothed, alternate leaves 2-6 inches long.
Black – Can grow up to 30 ft tall, is less hardy than red or white, and is native to western China. The fruits are large and juicy, with a good balance of sweetness and tartness that makes them the best flavored species of mulberry. Fruit ripens in mid to late summer.
Mulberries like full sun with warm, well-drained soil, preferably a deep loam. Mulberry trees are either dioecious or monoecious, and sometimes will change from one sex to another. Flowers grow on current season’s growth and on spurs on older wood. The flowers are wind pollinated.
No special pruning techniques are needed after the branches have been trained to a sturdy framework, except to remove dead or overcrowded wood.
Immature fruits are white, green, or pale yellow. In most species the fruits turn pink and then red while ripening, then dark purple or black, and have a sweet flavor when fully ripe. The aggregate fruit, composed of lots of berries stuck together, each with its own seed, is long-oval in shape, and hangs from a short, slender fruit stalk. Use mulberries immediately. They won’t last more than a couple of days in the refrigerator.
Mulberries can be grown from seed, although the plants can take 10 years or more to bear. Seed should be sown as soon as extracted from the fruit, although white mulberry seeds germinate better after stratifying one to three months before planting.
Sprig budding is the most common method for grafting mulberries.
Hardwood, softwood and root cuttings also are suitable methods for propagating mulberries.
The berries can be eaten out of hand, in pies, tarts, puddings or sweetened and pureed as a sauce.
Mulberry contains resveratrol, zea-xanthin, iron, potassium, manganese, magnesium Vitamins A, C, E, K, and B-complex.
Mulberry may; fight arterial plaque, fight diabetes, control blood sugar, and protect blood-cell membranes. *
I bought the Illinois Everbearing Mulberry from Raintree Nursery. Here is the excerpt from Raintree’s page: “This grafted tree is hardy to -30 deg.F. It sometimes starts producing the first year after planting and bears an abundance of sweet, highly flavored fruit, 1-1/2 inches long x 1/2 inch wide that look like elongated blackberries.
The fruit has a delicious distinctive flavor. The berries ripen continuously throughout July, August, and September, hence its name. The fruit is red and turns black when ripe.
Illinois Everbearing will grow to 35 feet tall but it is easily pruned and kept much smaller. Each is self-fertile.”
Last year I had a few dozen fruits. It was tasty, but was not very plump. I’m guessing that was because of drought and sandy soil. Hopefully the fruit will be a little better in 2016.
6 cups mulberries (any species)
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
2 tablespoons kudzu or arrowroot
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh wild spearmint or other mint
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 teaspoon liquid stevia or 2 tablespoons honey, barley malt, or rice syrup
2 1/2 cups fresh bread crumbs
1/4 cup corn oil or flaxseed oil
1 cup shelled raw pistachio nuts or other nuts, chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- To make the fruit layer: combine the fruit layer ingredients in a bowl and then pour the mixture into a 3-quart casserole dish.
- To make the crumble topping: combine the crumble topping ingredients except the cinnamon. Press the crumble mixture on top of the fruit layer. Sprinkle the cinnamon on top.
- Bake for 40 minutes.
Serve hot or cold.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
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Mulberry Trees are one of the varieties that will be for sale at Great Escape Nursery in the future.
Researching mulberry tree information was fun and educational.